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2028 Los Angeles Olympics adds 5 sports including lacrosse, cricket, flag football

L.A. Olympics
Los Angeles will host the 2028 Summer Olympics 01:19

Five sports have been added to the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles have after being approved by the International Olympic Committee's executive board. Three of the sports — baseball/softball, cricket and lacrosse — have been played at past Olympic games, while flag football and squash will make their Olympics debut in LA.

The five sports are "in line with the American sports culture and will showcase iconic American sports to the world, while bringing international sports to the United States," IOC President Thomas Bach said in a statement. The global sports tournament hasn't been held in the U.S. since the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City. 

While baseball and softball were played at the 2020 Olympics, which were held in Tokyo in 2021 because of the pandemic, they were removed from the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics schedule. 

But the sports are iconic American past times and the 2023 World Baseball Classic recently set an attendance record with more than 1 million spectators, according to the IOC.

Lacrosse has North American roots, as it was invented by indigenous peoples before becoming popular overseas in the 19th century. Also known as sixes, the sport appeared in the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis and the 1908 Olympics in London.

Cricket is wildly popular worldwide, with more than 2.5 billion fans, according to the IOC. The sport was part of the Paris Olympics in 1900 and now has a vast social media following and a growing U.S. community. The U.S. will also host the 2024 Cricket T20 World Cup. 

Football is one of the most popular sports in the U.S. Flag football, a safer variation of the sport often played by children, has never been included in the Olympics – until now. About 20 million people participate in flag football at the elite level. 

While squash has never been played at the Olympics, it is played in other multi-sport competitions. Participation in the sport has increased a whopping 87% in the U.S. from 2015 to 2019, the IOC says.

These 2028 Olympics additions were decided upon after analysis by the IOC, which looked at several criteria. Sports were evaluated based on cost and complexity for the host, their ability to put athlete health and safety first, their global appeal, their gender equality, their integrity and fairness as well as their environmental sustainability. 

Boxing, modern pentathlon – where athletes compete in fencing, swimming, equestrian show jumping, pistol shooting and cross-country running – and weight lifting were also considered but did not make the cut for the 2028 games. 

Four sports were added to the upcoming Paris games: Surfing, skateboarding, breaking and sport climbing.

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