DrThe Summer Olympics will be even bigger in the future. After the IOC Executive Board collectively approved the five sports proposed by Los Angeles for the 2028 Summer Games at its meeting in Mumbai, IOC Sports Director Kate McConnell confirmed that the number of participants in California reached 10,500 athletes should exceed.
“This is what the package entails,” McConnell said Friday. Among the sports proposed by Los Angeles that still need approval by the IOC General Assembly, which begins Sunday, are softball, baseball, lacrosse, soccer and cricket, four team sports. “The package fits the target groups wonderfully,” McConnell said. “But it is a package proposed by the Los Angeles organizing committee for these games only. This does not mean that it is a precedent for the future.”
The approximate upper limit was part of IOC President Thomas Bach’s “Agenda 2020”, through which a series of targets were formulated in 2014, about a year after Bach’s election. As part of these proposals, Olympic host countries were given the opportunity to propose sports for their version of the Games. At Tokyo 2021, softball, baseball, karate, surfing, skiing and climbing were Olympic sports, with a total of about 11,483 athletes participating in the Games, more than ever before.
Next year in Paris, karate, softball and baseball will not be on the program, but rather the competitive version of break dancing. Climbing, surfing and skiing have already become an integral part of the 2016 Summer Games. For Paris, the IOC expects to adhere to the number of 10,500 athletes identified as an “approximate upper limit”.
However, for 2028, “clearly we have to go beyond 10,500. We have to debate to what extent,” McConnell said. Quota locations should be decided at the start of 2025. The organizing committee for the 2028 Games has proposed that six women’s and men’s teams compete against each other. Some have Olympic medals for each of the team sports offered.
Bach wants to continue boxing on the program
The fact that the IOC CEO did not remove any sport from the program may also contribute to the supposed record number of participants in Los Angeles. As Thomas Bach said on Friday, boxing, weightlifting and modern pentathlon are here to stay after the Paris Games.
In boxing, after the suspension of the International Boxing Federation last June, there is no international federation responsible for this sport, so the official decision on how to hold boxing competitions in Los Angeles was postponed. “But I never tire of emphasizing that we want boxing on the program,” Bach said Friday. In Paris – as in Tokyo 2021 – the International Olympic Committee will organize the Olympic boxing tournament itself.
As expected, show jumping will play no role in modern pentathlon. Instead of riding on the backs of horses, the treatment and customization of which led to all kinds of scandals in the past, the athletes of the future will overcome obstacles on two legs. This reduces costs and complexity and makes the sport more accessible, Bach said: “Honestly: without the exchange, this sport would not be on the programme.”
Many pentathletes were not happy to give up show jumping. Their protest against the modernization of the sport, which IOC founder Pierre de Coubertin had once envisioned for the 1912 Summer Games as a field in which officers and knights could compete, seemed clear in light of the stated will of Bach and the IOC president. International quintet, who had been in charge for 30 years, had Klaus Schürmann hopeless from the start.
The International Weightlifting Federation can be happy too. Bach said he had created a “really strong anti-doping programme” which “addresses our concerns”. Recently, the return of North Korean weightlifters after several years away from competition made headlines and set world records at the Asian Games in Hangzhou. . All implementation recommendations will be approved by the IOC members in Mumbai.
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