From cricket to flag football, the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics just got more exciting.
Lucas Carpignano, Sports Editor
The LA28 Olympics are still five years away, but there are already reasons to be excited. This will be the first time since 1996 that the summer Olympics will be hosted in North America. In addition, this will be the third time Los Angeles has hosted the games, as it previously hosted in 1932 and 1984. With the LA28 Olympics, five new sports are joining the competition: baseball/softball, cricket, lacrosse, squash, and flag football. Let’s break them down.
Back in March 2023, 20 different countries participated in the World Baseball Classic. This international competition had record-breaking attendance, viewership, and merchandise sales. This provided evidence that baseball and softball have been growing in popularity around the world, which makes their return to the Olympics even more exciting. The last time these sports were played at the Olympics was relatively recently, during the Tokyo 2020 games.
Although not that popular in North America, cricket is one of the biggest sports in the world. It is estimated that there are 2.5 billion fans worldwide, mostly in Asia, Australia, and the United Kingdom. It’s crazy to think that cricket has not been at the Olympics since the Paris 1900 games. You can expect a ton of new fans tuning in and learning about the sport.
Canada’s national summer sport, lacrosse, is making a return to the Olympics for the first time since the London 1908 games. Over the past few years, lacrosse has become one of the fastest growing sports in North America. Its presence in the Olympics will hopefully boost that growth further.
Squash is going to be making its Olympic debut at these games. Squash is not as popular as it used to be, so the Olympics might help interest people picking up a racket and a ball and trying it out.
Finally, the most interesting sport joining the competition: flag football. This will be flag football’s Olympic debut. The NFL is encouraging its athletes to compete, which would make it hard to find any country capable of competing with the US.
Not only will the LA28 Olympics mark the return of the biggest athletic international competition to North America, but also will it bring more events for fans to look forward to. The growing influence of baseball and softball, the global appeal of cricket, the long-awaited revival of lacrosse, the debut of squash, and the introduction of flag football will all contribute to the growing anticipation surrounding this upcoming event. All this excitement is building up, yet we’re still over 1,700 days away.