Cricket was excluded from the mega-sports event in 1990, but the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to reinstate it for the 2028 Los Angeles Games during its session in Mumbai.
The 2028 Los Angeles Olympics will feature new sports in baseball/softball, flag football, lacrosse (sixes), squash, and T20 cricket. The IOC officially approved these additions in a press conference on October 16. According to IOC President Thomas Bach, two IOC members were against it and one voted against it.
The IOC Session has approved the organising committee for the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028’s (@LA28) application to add five new sports to the schedule.
The LA28 schedule will include baseball/softball, cricket (T20), flag football, lacrosse (sixes), and squash, according to a tweet from the IOC.
Bach has previously stated that applications had been made to host these events as part of the Olympics in 2028.
Nita Ambani, an IOC member and head of the Reliance Foundation, stated regarding cricket’s inclusion in the 2028 Los Angeles Summer Olympic Games, “For 1.4 billion Indians, cricket is not just a sport, it’s a religion! So I’m delighted that this historic resolution was passed at the 141st IOC Session taking place right here in our country in Mumbai. The inclusion of cricket in the Olympics will create deeper engagement for the Olympic Movement in newer geographies. And at the same time, provides a boost to cricket’s growing international popularity….”
A variety of athletes in new sports
At the Olympic Games in Los Angeles, baseball/softball, cricket, and lacrosse are expected to return, while flag football and squash will make their Olympic debuts. Baseball, a former Olympic event, will be back in Tokyo in 2020 but not in the Games in Paris. The most recent Summer Games to feature softball, the female version of baseball, were in Tokyo 2020.
Cricket, which will be played in the Twenty20 format, makes a second appearance at the Olympics after making its debut at the 1900 Games in Paris. A six-team Twenty20 tournament is planned for both men and women in LA 2028. The LA28 incorporates lacrosse, a sport invented by the Indigenous Peoples of North America, in its quick and condensed sixes fashion. After competing in the Olympic Games in St. Louis in 1904 and London in 1908, this would be its third appearance.
Flag football is a non-contact version of American football played by five-person teams and is rapidly gaining popularity in the US and abroad. Additionally, Flag football and indoor racket sport squash, both of which are debuting, are already part of eight other multi-sport tournaments.
The IOC stated in its earlier statement that the selection of sports was the product of a careful procedure and analysis based on evaluation criteria set before the process began, including gender equality.
Thomas Bach praises the five new sports that the LA28 Olympics will include
The LA28 Organising Committee’s request to include these five new sports in the 2028 sports programme was approved by the committee’s Executive Board on October 13 before the IOC Session gave its final approval.
IOC President Thomas Bach who chaired the EB meeting, said, “The choice of these five new sports is in line with the American sports culture and will showcase iconic American sports to the world, while bringing international sports to the United States. These sports will make the Olympic Games LA28 unique,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “Their inclusion will allow the Olympic Movement to engage with new athlete and fan communities in the US and globally.” Bach also commended the contributions of Nita Ambani, an IOC member and the chairperson of Reliance Foundation, in shaping India’s sports scene. He said that Mrs Ambani had presented the concept of including cricket in the Olympic Games to IOC members.
LA28 is a 33-sport spectacle that will feature 5 new sports.
The 28 Olympic sports that were initially planned for LA28’s sport programme, as confirmed by the IOC in February 2022, will be joined by the five new sports. Aquatics, Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Canoe, Cycling, Equestrian, Fencing, Football (Soccer), Golf, Gymnastics, Handball, Judo, Rowing, Rugby, Sailing, Shooting, Sport Climbing, Surfing, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis, Triathlon, Volleyball, and Wrestling are among the 28 sports initially listed.
For a new generation of athletes and fans, new sports
When presenting their plans to the EB on October 9, the LA28 organising committee stated that the additional sports “will deliver new levels of excitement to existing Olympic fans and welcome a new generation of athletes and fans to join in co-creating what’s next.” They are played in backyards, schoolyards, community centres, stadiums, and parks all over the United States and the world; they are current, inventive, and community-based, according to LA28 Chairperson Casey Wasserman. They “They will bring new athletes to the Games, engage diverse fanbases and expand the Games’ presence in digital spaces, further amplifying LA28’s mission to deliver an unparalleled experience.”
PM Modi opens the IOC Session
On October 14, the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s 141st Session was opened in Mumbai by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who also committed India to hosting the 2036 Olympics. “Indians are very excited about hosting the Olympics Games. India will leave no stone unturned in organising the 2036 Olympics,” said PM Modi during his address to the IOC Session delegation. “This is a dream of 140 crore Indians. We want to fulfil this dream with your support. We are willing to host the 2029 Youth Olympics. I am sure India will get constant support from IOC,” PM Modi added.
IOC President Thomas Bach praised India as a particularly inspiring location for hosting the IOC session in his comments at the opening ceremony. He claimed that India is a country that successfully combines a dynamic present with a deep faith in the future.
Nita Ambani, IOC member and the Founder Chairperson of the Reliance Foundation, during her opening address at the session, welcomed IOC President and the delegates from the IOC, said: “It is an absolute honour for us to host this historic IOC Session in India after 40 years, and in Mumbai for the first time ever! Aamchi Mumbai ─ our Mumbai ─ welcomes all of you.”
The International Olympic Committee will meet from October 15–17 for the IOC Session, during which significant decisions regarding the Olympic Games’ future will be decided. For the second time in almost forty years, India is hosting the IOC session. The 86th Session of the IOC, which took place in New Delhi in 1983, served as the before example. The session is being attended by Thomas Bach, a number of IOC members, notable Indian athletes, and representatives from other sports federations, including the Indian Olympic Association.
The 2028 Olympic Games will be held in Los Angeles for the third time; the first two were in 1984 and 1932. The opening ceremony for the LA28 Olympic Games is scheduled for July 14, 2028, and the competition will last until July 30, 2028. Over 3,000 hours of live sports will be broadcast throughout the LA28 Games, spread across 800 events in 33 different sports. The Games are anticipated to draw 15,000 athletes.
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