IOC Approves Skateboarding, Sport Climbing, and Surfing for LA 2028 Olympics

The International Olympic Committee Executive Board has approved the addition of three sports as part of the Olympic program for the Los Angeles 2028 Games.

Skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing made their debut at the Tokyo Olympics in summer 2021, where they were considered “added sports.” They were again added to the Paris 2024 program with more athletes. And they again have been renewed for Los Angeles 2028, pushing them closer to permanent sport status.

“The proposed inclusion of these youth-focused sports is based on the significant contribution to the overall success of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, their commitment to innovation and the partnership expressed by LA28, and also recognizing the deep roots each of these three sports have in L.A. and in California,” IOC President Thomas Bach said.

“At the same time, the IOC and the L.A. organizing committee renewed their joint commitment to prioritize reducing the costs and complexity of the Games.”

The Olympics have an overall athlete quota of 10,500 for both the Paris and Los Angeles Olympic Games. At Tokyo 2020, surfing and sport climbing each had 40 athletes, while skateboarding had 80. At Paris 2024, surfing will grow to 44 athletes, climbing will grow to 68 athletes, and skateboarding will grow to 88 athletes.

Among the ways that the IOC might offset these numbers: three stalwarts of the Olympic schedule that are in the midst of turmoil will have to ‘earn’ their way back into the Los Angeles Games.

Boxing (252 athletes for Paris 2024), Weightlifting (120 athletes for Paris 2024), and modern pentathlon (72 athletes for Paris 2024) have not been included in the initial schedule.

“For boxing, weightlifting, and modern pentathlon, there will be a pathway for inclusion in this initial sports program,” Bach said. “These three sports may potentially be included in the LA28 initial sports program by the IOC Session in 2023 if by then the respective international federation will demonstrate to the satisfaction of the IOC Executive Board that they have addressed the following areas.

“First, AIBA [boxing]. AIBA must demonstrate that it has successfully addressed the ongoing concerns around its governance, its financial transparency and sustainability and the integrity of its refereeing and judging processes.

“Second, IWF [weightlifting]. IWF and its future leadership must demonstrate its transition towards compliance and effective change of culture. Furthermore, they must successfully address the historical incidence of doping in the sport and ensure the integrity, robustness and full independence of its anti-doping program.

“Third, and this is different, very much different from weightlifting and boxing. Third is UIPM [modern pentathlon]. UIPM must finalize its proposal for the replacement of horse riding and for the overall competition format. They must demonstrate a significant reduction in cost and complexity and improvements across the areas of safety, accessibility, universality, appeal for youth and general public.”

Sport leaders in Modern pentathlon, which includes the sports of fencing, swimming, equestrian (horse riding), and running combined with laser shooting, are push to replace the equestrian portion of the event after an incident where a German coach was videoed punching an uncooperative horse, ridden by the gold medal favorite, at the Tokyo 2020 Games. They have received pushback from athletes who believe that replacing the equestrian portion would undermine the sport, and they have taken that movement to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Bach’s commentary indicates that the IOC is ready to replace the equestrian section, which would significantly reduce the cost of the event and stabling horses.

The Los Angeles 2028 organizing committee has the opportunity to request the addition of other sports to the schedule in mid-2023, which is earlier than the originally-proposed late 2024.

Other sports that were part of Tokyo 2020 and are not included in the initial LA28 program include baseball and softball. The organizing committee is expected to request the addition of those sports, given their importance in the United States.

The lead contenders for addition to the LA 2028 schedule are cricket and a five-on-five version of flag football, reminiscent of the three-on-three basketball tournament added in Tokyo, but there are other contenders too. Ultimate flying disk, break dancing (which has proven popular on the Youth Olympic circuit), mixed martial arts, karate, and pickleball all are making pushes for inclusion, though it is unlikely that they can all be accepted and meet the IOC’s goals of 10,500 athletes.

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6 months ago

With the Olympics in Brisbane in 2032 (including events at Surfers Paradise!), I imagine surfing will be on the menu again!

Reply to  torchbearer
6 months ago

Hopefully at Kirra or Snapper Rocks. Much better waves than Surfers Paradise

6 months ago

1m diving. Won’t happen though

mid major man
6 months ago

i don’t think many people will be losing sleep if the modern pentathlon is not included

Reply to  mid major man
6 months ago

The modern pentathlon athletes who have been training for years and years with Olympic dreams would care a great deal if their sport was removed from the Olympics. The “jump a horse you’ve never met before” event needs to be changed, but I have sympathy for every athlete who loves their sport and has the “pinnacle event” pulled out from underneath them three years before the Games.

Reply to  Katie
6 months ago

Still an elitist, artificial, expensive sport, inaccessible to 99.99999 percent of the worlds population. Time for it to go.

Mr Piano
6 months ago

Michael Andrew has been waiting for this moment.

Ugly IS my alibi
6 months ago

Hopefully no more mixed relays. I like mens swimming and women’s swimming but mixed just feels dilutive

Reply to  Ugly IS my alibi
6 months ago

speak for yourself

Awsi Dooger
Reply to  Ugly IS my alibi
6 months ago

Good luck. Mixed events are increasing, not decreasing. Cross country skiing will debut two mixed events in March. They will undoubtedly be popular and added to the regular rotation. Then the world championships and Olympics follow.

Swimmer A
Reply to  Ugly IS my alibi
5 months ago

I want that mixed freestyle relay

6 months ago

How about finswimming ?

cynthia curran
6 months ago

Not surprise about this since California goes on and on about being so great in Skateboarding but one of the medalist was from Arizona. Also, I still think surfing is more popular in Hawaii than California. In fac only 5 percent of the population surfs on a regular basis since you can get knock down by a wave or get stint by a jellyfish. Also, LA Olympics unlike Paris will b ring back baseball and Softball since over half the softball players are from California. More girls in Orange County make the National Softball team than the events in swimming.

Reply to  cynthia curran
6 months ago

what percentage of the population do you think swims Laps on a regular basis

Reply to  Pvdh
6 months ago

I can’t decide if the cynthia curran comments are a joke or she legit has dementia

Last edited 6 months ago by Rap
6 months ago

I hope they do something for surfing like Paris doing it at Teahupo’o. Would be awesome to see the competition at Mavericks. Although locally they could probably have a sick competition at Tressels barring issues with getting competition related infrastructure there considering its off the beaten path.

But they’ll probably go the money route and ride 3 foot waves in Santa Monica…

Reply to  scoobysnak
6 months ago

I heard they’d be using French Polynesia…ie Tahiti

Reply to  Braden Keith
6 months ago

Duh…that was a Friday afternoon brain fart :p just a complete mis-reading of the comment

Last edited 6 months ago by Blackflag82
Reply to  Braden Keith
6 months ago

I wonder if the event is successful at Teahupo’o (i.e. great breaks, awesome surfing) if that would change the direction LA goes. I wonder if there would be enough time to consider a venue change at that point.

On the other hand the comments on the Santa Monica venue makes a lot of sense.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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