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Every Olympics brings a slightly different lineup of events, reflecting the popularity of various sports in the host country and around the world, while also attempting to attract new viewers. Looking ahead to 2028, when the Summer Olympics will take place in Los Angeles, California, five sports will rejoin the event roster or be featured for the first time.
Flag football and squash are the brand-new events at "LA28," while lacrosse (in a fast-paced six-a-side format) will make its first official appearance since 1908. Cricket will also be featured, having been absent since 1900. Baseball and softball were played at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics (which were postponed until 2021) but will take a hiatus at next year’s Games in Paris before returning in 2028.
One sport that won’t appear in Los Angeles is breakdance, despite only debuting in Paris in 2024. There are also concerns about whether boxing will be included in 2028 due to a dispute between the sport’s governing body, the International Boxing Association (IBA), and the International Olympic Committee.
"Faster, Higher, Stronger":
- Though it hasn't appeared in the Olympics for well over a century, cricket has a massive worldwide following, especially in South Asia, where the Indian Premier League has an estimated value of around $8.4 billion. Cricket at the 2028 Olympics will be played in the same Twenty20 format as the Indian Premier League’s tournament.
- The Los Angeles 2028 flag football event, a no-contact version of American football featuring teams of five, was the focus of an NFL campaign to get it included. The last time that American football appeared in the Olympics was in 1932, also in a Games hosted by Los Angeles, though it was a demonstration sport.
- The United States is likely to do well in both the baseball and softball events, having won a gold medal in baseball in 2000 and in softball in 1996, 2000, and 2004.
- LA28 marks the first Olympics celebrated in the United States since the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and the first Summer Games since 1996 in Atlanta.