ADDITION OF BASEBALL/SOFTBALL, CRICKET, FLAG FOOTBALL, LACROSSE AND SQUASH CONFIRMED AT 141st INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE SESSION
LOS ANGELES, CA, OCTOBER 16, 2023 — Today, the LA28 Olympic and Paralympic Games are celebrating the 2028 Olympic sport program following the ratifying vote of proposed sports at the 141st International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session. The LA28 Games will mark the return of Baseball/Softball, Cricket (T20) and Lacrosse (Sixes) to the Olympic program; and Flag Football and Squash will make their Olympic debut. The IOC Session also confirmed the re-inclusion of Modern Pentathlon and Weightlifting, which now join the 28 previously confirmed sports that are #LA28BOUND. The IOC has put its decision on hold to include Boxing in the LA28 program, pending further clarification of the IOC recognized governing body for Olympic Boxing.
“The hope of an Olympic dream just became an active pursuit for countless athletes around the world. This remarkable journey over the next five years will undoubtedly change lives, inspiring athletes with the opportunity to represent their sport and country on the world’s biggest stage,” said Janet Evans, LA28 Chief Athlete Officer. “Participating in the Games is an experience unlike any other, and any athlete who pursues it will become an invaluable thread within the shared story of the LA28 Games.”
LA28 is celebrating all sports that are #LA28BOUND through a co-created and interactive digital campaign. #LA28BOUND invites athletes, international federations, professional leagues and Games’ Commercial Partners to shout out their favorite Olympic sport or athlete. The campaign will capture the undeniable passion and collective power of sport to impact lives through personal stories that share the excitement and meaning of inclusion in the 2028 Olympic sport program.
“I have long believed that we have an incredible opportunity in Los Angeles to create the most compelling Games, not just for us, but for the world. Our Olympic sport program, in its entirety, reflects this belief,” said LA28 Chairperson Casey Wasserman. “We are excited to embark on game-changing collaborations with major professional leagues that will unlock massive opportunities to amplify the Olympic and Paralympic story and captivate new audiences.”
As part of this celebratory campaign, athletes and stakeholders from the new sports shared what it means to them to be #LA28BOUND:
BASEBALL / SOFTBALL
Riccardo Fraccari, World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) President: “We are delighted that baseball and softball have been confirmed as part of the sports programme at the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028 by the IOC Session. The WBSC firmly believes that baseball and softball will help millions of fans engage with the Olympic Games, especially with USA being home to many of the sports’ best players and biggest stars from across the world. It is going to be an electric atmosphere in LA where the best baseball and softball athletes in the world will have the opportunity to play on the biggest stage in front of a global audience of billions. Baseball has been in the Olympics six times and Softball five times and their inclusion in LA28 will excite athletes and fans across the US and around the world, inspiring a new generation of boys and girls to chase Olympic glory.”
Robert D. Manfred, Jr., Commissioner of Baseball: “The return of baseball and softball to the Olympics in 2028 is an important development for the ongoing global growth of our sport. Major League Baseball has committed significant resources to developing talent, increasing youth participation, and deepening fan engagement of baseball and softball around the world. The return of Olympic competition will provide a powerful boost to our efforts and give sports fans everywhere another opportunity to enjoy our great game. The diverse and passionate baseball and softball community in Los Angeles will undoubtedly provide enthusiastic support to create a memorable atmosphere for the competition.”
Paul Seiler, USA Baseball CEO: “We are thrilled that America’s pastime will be a part of the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games. The inclusion of Baseball and Softball will undoubtedly enhance the experience of the Games, as both sports have enjoyed global success in recent years and deserve to be celebrated on the international stage. It is exciting to be able to return to the place that kickstarted baseball being on the Olympic Programme, as well as a location that boasts numerous professional teams and some of the most iconic players in today’s game. USA Baseball takes great pride in showcasing the nation’s best players in international competition, and we can’t wait for the opportunity to do so on home soil.”
Craig Cress, USA Softball CEO: “What a thrilling day for not only the sports of baseball and softball, but also for the athletes, coaches, umpires and fans that love and cherish the game across the world. To see softball and baseball added to the LA28 Olympic Sport Program is exciting for both the global audience that the sport garners and the United States as the hotbed for some of the most talented athletes to ever play the game and the most passionate fans to fill the stands. USA Softball is proud to be the National Governing Body for the sport of softball and will continue our dedication of promoting our great sport on the world stage.”
Greg Barclay, International Cricket Council Chair: "Cricket’s inclusion in the Olympic Games has been a priority for our organization, and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase our great sport and athletes at the LA28 Games and hopefully many Olympic Games to come. I’d like to thank LA28 and the International Olympic Committee for their support and for their trust in our organization’s ability to deliver a world class event and countless new Olympic fans from all over the world. The fact that the IOC confirmation of our selection occurred here in Mumbai, during the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, is truly icing on the cake."
AB de Villiers, South African Cricketer: "Cricket is LA28 Bound! It’s exciting to hear that Cricket will be included in the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Our game will reach an even wider global audience, and cricketers will now have an opportunity to win an Olympic gold medal, one of the most prestigious accolades in sports. The Olympics is the ultimate sporting stage, and it’s great that Cricket will be part of the Games!"
Pierre Trochet, President of The International Federation of American Football (IFAF): “This is a huge moment for our sport and our global American football community. We are grateful to everyone who has played a part in what has been a truly collective journey - and a journey that will now continue in partnership with LA28, whom we thank for their vision and leadership. We are convinced that Flag Football will offer an exciting new dimension to the Games – uniting them, for the first time in history, with America’s number one sport in its youngest, most accessible and inclusive format, which is already spearheading extraordinary growth, particularly among youth audiences, women and girls and in new countries worldwide.”
Roger Goodell, National Football League (NFL) Commissioner:“Congratulations to the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) on this landmark achievement for flag football and the global community that loves and plays our game. It’s a tremendous honor for any athlete to represent their country at the Olympics. We have no doubt that this decision will inspire millions of young people around the world to play this game in the years ahead. The NFL is committed to working together to strengthen flag football’s place in the Olympic movement long term, and we look forward to continuing this exciting journey with IFAF, the LA28 Organizing Committee, the International Olympic Committee and USA Football.”
Diana Flores, Chair of the IFAF Athlete Committee and player for the national team of Mexico: “To compete in the Olympic Games is the ultimate dream of every athlete, and millions of Flag Football players around the world will go to sleep dreaming of Los Angeles 2028 tonight. I want to thank everyone who has made this possible - including all my fellow athletes and ambassadors who have played such a central role in driving the project forward. Together, we are determined to use this incredible stage to showcase the best of Flag Football - its speed, athleticism and creativity, and also its power to transform lives and include new communities in sports. As an athlete community, we are proud to be leading the way, but our goal must be to use this opportunity to inspire, lift up and empower a new generation around the world.”
Sue Redfern, President of World Lacrosse: “There is no greater designation than to be recognized as an Olympic sport. The global lacrosse family has been passionately working toward reaching this pinnacle for more than a decade. This seminal achievement would not have been possible without the effort of many visionary and dedicated individuals who collectively recognized that Olympic inclusion is the most significant catalyst for the continued growth of a sport. I offer our sincere gratitude to LA28 and the IOC for allowing us to realize our vision; now is our time to shine and show the world how lacrosse contributes to a better tomorrow.”
Jim Scherr, CEO of World Lacrosse: "Today is a remarkable moment in the history of both lacrosse and the Olympic Games. The inclusion of lacrosse in the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles is a testament to our sport's enduring legacy, worldwide popularity and unique ability to bring people together. It also signifies the culmination of an extraordinary journey to return North America’s first game to the Olympics, a journey made possible by the unwavering passion of our lacrosse community. This decision reaffirms the Olympic values of unity, diversity and athletic excellence. We eagerly anticipate sharing the beauty of lacrosse with the world and take immense pride in participating in an Olympic Games that champions inclusion and diversity. Together, we will make history on the grandest stage in sports and inspire future generations with the power of lacrosse."
Paul Rabil, Co-Founder and President of the Premier Lacrosse League: “The IOC’s decision today marks a monumental moment for our sport. We’re thrilled that the first game of North America is returning to the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles. Lacrosse competed for a gold medal at the 1904 and 1908 Summer Olympics, then as a demonstration sport in 1928, 1932 and 1948. The game’s return will be transformative for players and fans around the world. I would like to thank everyone who participated in helping this come to fruition, especially the LA28 committee, World Lacrosse, and the IOC.”
Jon Patricof, CEO and Co-Founder of Athletes Unlimited: “Having lacrosse make its Olympic debut and softball return to competition at the 2028 Los Angeles Games is a tremendous achievement and a testament to the hard work put in by LA28, the athletes, the respective governing bodies and professional leagues who support these sports year-round. We are thrilled for the athletes and will do all we can as a pro sports organization to support their Olympic journey on the road to LA.”
Zena Wooldridge, World Squash Federation (WSF) President: “On behalf of the entire global Squash community, I would like to express my immense delight at Squash’s inclusion in the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games. Squash is an amazingly dynamic, diverse and competitive sport that is perfectly suited for the Olympic Games. Everyone involved in our sport is thrilled to be LA bound and we look forward to being part of an unparalleled Olympic Games experience. Our most sincere thanks go out to the LA28 OCOG and the IOC for their careful consideration, and to all who have helped Squash achieve Olympic recognition.”
Amanda Sobhy, No. 1 American Squash player: “It's everything that you can dream of as an athlete to be able to compete in the Olympic Games. To be able to compete for an Olympic gold medal, and just say that you were an Olympian is something that no one can ever take away from you. To have the chance to compete at LA28 and compete in front of friends and family with a home crowd would just be so meaningful, especially because that would probably be one of my last events in my career. To be able to say that I finish off my career with the Olympics is really just like a dream come true.”
Ali Farag, Men’s World No. 1 Squash Player: “I’m over the moon and super excited to hear the news that Squash is going to be included in the LA28 Olympic Games! It’s a dream of any athlete to raise their flag on the Olympic stage - it’s the biggest of them all. I can’t wait to see our sport there and showcase the brand of Squash and the brand of sport that we stand for. I’m really looking forward to it!”
The LA28 Paralympic sport program is determined by a separate process set by the International Paralympic Committee. Stay tuned for confirmation of which Paralympic sports are #LA28Bound.
The LA28 Games will mark Los Angeles’ third time to host the Olympic Games, previously hosted in 1984 and 1932, and first time to host the Paralympic Games. Los Angeles will host the world’s most elite athletes in 2028 as it welcomes Paralympians and Olympians from around the world to compete on the biggest stage in sports. The LA28 Games are independently operated by a privately funded, non-profit organization with revenue from corporate partners, licensing agreements, hospitality and ticketing programs and a significant contribution from the International Olympic Committee.