Press Release


Today's Children are Tomorrow's Leaders.


By Gary Tobin – Noember 2023

In 1964, when Bob Dylan wrote “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” it’s unlikely that he was thinking about the Summer Olympic Games. Flash forward to 2024 (and 2028), and his words look more prescient than anyone could reasonably have expected.

To the point, Paris 2024 has submitted a proposal to the IOC to integrate four new sports closely associated with youth and reward creativity and athletic performance. These sports are breakdancing (officially “breaking,”) sport climbing, skateboarding, and surfing. French Olympic officials offer that all are easy to take up, and participants form very active communities on social media.

Not to be outdone, the Los Angeles organizing committee for the 2028 Summer Games has obtained approval for five sports. Three — baseball/softball, cricket, and lacrosse — have been played at past Olympic games, while flag football and squash will make their Olympics debut in LA. Because it’s the Olympics, the “new” sports additions are not without controversy. For instance, sport climbing was actually introduced in Tokyo for the 2020 Games (postponed until 2021). However, participants were not satisfied with how the events (and medals) were divvied among genders and events.

Their issues have been addressed, allowing the IOC to move on to other potential additions. One of them, flying disc, essentially ultimate Frisbee, missed the cut for 2020 and 2024 but is being proposed again for 2028. The Olympic Club Foundation also has a connection to the “new” sports, having active youth programs in skateboarding, surfing, sport climb- ing, baseball/softball, lacrosse, flag football,and squash.

“We have truly earned our “Olympic” name by being in the forefront of supporting amateur sports,” says John Ring, executive director of the Foundation. The official IOC stance on new sports is loosely worded, making it possible that others will be added sooner rather than later. What they are is still a closely guarded discussion. But if the past is indeed prologue, then whatever they are, Dylan’s refrain will ring true for future Olympic Games.

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