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Nine additional pre-selected sports – Sport & Société – Kévin Bernardi

After several months of review, nine sports have been pre-selected by the Organizing Committee for the Los Angeles 2028 Summer Games to become, where appropriate, additional sports on the Olympic Programme. The final choices will be approved in May 2023 during the 140th Session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

View of the stands and baseball field at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles (Credits – Los Angeles Dodgers)

Lhe possibility offered by the Olympic institution to the hosts of the Games to propose the addition of additional sports meets, edition after edition, a certain enthusiasm.

Fact, in the hope of being able to rub shoulders with the 28 sports included in the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Programno less than nine sports have been pre-selected by the Californian organizers, while several others have also applied, as was the case for Tokyo 2020 and for Paris 2024.

These nine sports already demonstrate a diversity of practices, with sports announced for several months as contenders for the 2028 Olympics and others, more surprising.

Concretely, breakdancing – included in the 2024 Paris Games – hopes to do a double blow by presenting its candidacy once again, while also eyeing the edition of Brisbane 2032.

By his side, baseball / softball will try to convince the organizers and the IOC of a return to the Olympic program after an absence from two Olympiads (2012 and 2016) and a confirmed departure after the Tokyo 2020 Games. At this stage, baseball / softball is undoubtedly one of the sports with the greatest prospect of reaching the Olympic rank, because of its past already, but also of the extreme popularity of this sport in the United States. , and in particular in Los Angeles where one of the temples of the practice is located, namely the mythical Dodger Stadium.

Also present on the Japanese edition, but failed by the organizers of the 2024 Olympics despite a lively controversy and an intense promotional campaignkarate is also betting on the 2028 deadline to return to center stage.

For the rest, cricket will try to regain the Olympic colors after having been presented at the Games in 1900, in Paris. For this, the International Federation proposes the inclusion of the T20 format considered to be the most accessible for the general public and the most appropriate to meet Olympic standards.

Lacrosse and flag football should benefit from their great popularity in the United States to seduce decision-makers, even if the global audience and the practice beyond the regional sphere are elements sought by the IOC. If lacrosse has in the past been present at the Games of Saint-Louis 1904 and London 1908, before being a demonstration sport on the editions organized by Amsterdam (1928), Los Angeles (1932) and again London (1948) , flag football does not have the slightest Olympic experience.

For the rest, kickboxing will have a lot to do to get its place in the Games, which has never appeared on an Olympic list. Squash meanwhile hopes to finally be able to make its appearance on the planetary scene, after several unsuccessful attempts.

Finally, and probably the most surprising to have been pre-selected, motorsport will attempt to make its way to the Olympic rings, with a discipline yet to be determined. Not sure, however, that the IOC is inclined to open the door to the Games, even if the demand could be substantial.

Thomas Bach, President of the IOC, surrounded by Nicole Hoevertsz, President of the 2028 Games Coordination Commission, and Janet Evans, President of the LA 2028 Athletes Commission, Monday July 18, 2022 (Credits – IOC / Greg Martin)

If the diversity of the sports offered proves that participation in the Games remains an unparalleled showcase for increasing development, influence and the number of licensees, it is also the mark of fierce competition which promises to win ultimately the places available.

Admittedly, the Organizing Committee for the LA 2028 Games has not yet decided on the number of sports that will be selected and proposed for validation to the IOC, but it should be noted that the Olympic institution requires organizers to respect the quota. maximum number of athletes set at 10,500 participants per edition.

In other words, depending on the number of sports offered – then validated – and the number of participants envisaged, it will potentially be appropriate to proceed to arbitration on the other sports already integrated into the Program.

After the complete examination of the candidatures, with the details relating to the events proposed and the number of participants, for men and women – the search for parity being also an imperative for the IOC – a refined selection will be revealed. , before the 140th Session of the Olympic institution ratifies the final choices in May 2023 in Bombay (India).

The organizers will also ensure that the additional sports selected, then confirmed, do not lead to the construction of permanent enclosures, LA 2028 relying above all on the existing or, if necessary, temporary facilities in order to limit expenses.

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