Cricket, flag football, squash, lacrosse and baseball and softball will all be part of the Summer Olympics in five years, though there’s no guarantee they will remain there from that point forward. Of the five, only squash and flag football have never been a part of the Olympics before.
In addition, the IOC announced that weightlifting and a modern pentathalon (without horse riding) have been added to the sporting events that will be held. Boxing, however, is still up in the air following the IOC’s decision to no longer recognize the International Boxing Association as the sport’s governing body. For now, the sweet science will not be a part of the 2028 Games.
“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,” said IOC President Thomas Bach in a statement. “Their inclusion will allow the Olympic Movement to engage with new athlete and fan communities in the US and globally.”
Squash has been trying to make it into the Olympics for some time. It’s a popular sport in other parts of the world and has been growing in America. Flag football is a more unusual choice, but league officials have been lobbying for its inclusion since 2020, with the backing of the NFL.
And, for many Olympic enthusiasts, its inclusion is nowhere near as head-scratching as break dancing, which will be a recognized Olympic sport at the Paris Games in 2024.
Baseball hasn’t been a part of the Olympics since 2012, when the IOC voted it out of the London Games. It’s unclear at this time whether Major League Baseball players will compete for Team USA, given the Games’ dates (July 14-30) run in the heart of the MLB season.