The International Olympic Committee (IOC) approved 28 sports for inclusion in the Initial Sports Programme for the 2028 summer Olympics, including skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing.
The announcement was made Thursday during the 139th Session of the IOC in Beijing. The IOC called the initial sport programme “youth-focused,” emphasizing that skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing–the sports that made their debut at the 2020 Olympics–have a heavy youth presence. The IOC also said those three sports have deep roots in California.
“The LA28 Games have always been about bringing more freshness, youthful energy and creativity into the Olympic and Paralympic movement,” said Casey Wasserman, chairman of the L.A. organizing committee, in a statement to the Los Angeles Times.
Those three sports were already approved in late 2021, but this announcement contextualizes the newer sports with all of the current sports slated for competition in 2028.
- Athletics (includes track and field, cross country, etc.)
- Aquatics (includes swimming, diving, water polo, and synchronized swimming)
- Football (American soccer)
- Table Tennis
- Sport Climbing
The IOC still needs to elaborate a process for finalizing the disciplines of each sport to provide certainty to the athletes and organizations involved in each sport. This is a new intermediary step, which the IOC said is designed to provide certainty about the sports offered earlier on in the process.
Events and athlete quotas will be finalized in 2024, after the Paris Olympics.
There is still an opportunity for Los Angeles to propose additional sports for the 2028 Games in 2023. The IOC also provided a pathway for boxing, weightlifting, and the modern pentathlon to be included at the 2023 IOC Session.
For boxing, weightlifting, and the modern pentathlon to be included in the sports programme, the governing bodies of those sports have to address the areas and implement critical reforms specified back in December by the IOC, prior to the 2023 Session. Such areas include the International Boxing Association addressing its financial transparency, the International Weightlifting Federation initiating a culture change, the Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne finalizing the removal of horse riding from the overall format, and more.
In addition, the IOC established six areas for review for the disciplines: cost and complexity; popularity and host country interest; uniqueness, universality, gender equality, and relevance for young people; best athletes and athlete safety; integrity and fairness; and environmental sustainability. The IOC will release detailed criteria for each of these areas in March or April.