Sports continue campaigns for spot in LA28 program

Cricket’s main argument is simple: There are one billion fans of the sport in South Asia that the IOC should want access toGetty Images

Sports “chasing a place" in the LA28 program in the next few months will have their Olympic hopes “realized or dashed," according to Louise Radnofsky of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. LA28 last week said that "serious contenders will get invitations in June to submit a formal application in July, and make a presentation to representatives of the Games organizing committee in August.” Campaigns "are under way" from potential newcomers including cheerleading, cricket, flag football and lacrosse. Cheer’s preliminary pitch “hits many of the Olympic buzzwords of the moment.” Cricket’s main argument is "simple: there are one billion fans of cricket in South Asia that the IOC should want access to.” Flag football’s bid is “backed by” the NFL, but its "chief pitch makers are French and English enthusiasts." Lacrosse is “emphasizing its heritage" as a "sacred sport played by the Haudenosaunee confederation of six Native nations across what is now New York and Canada." Meanwhile, questions are “swirling around" the inclusion of baseball and softball. Their joint proposal is “significantly weakened” as long as it is not clear that professional players from MLB and other big leagues around the world "could be available in the middle” of the ‘28 season. The Olympics also have a “hard cap of 10,500 athletes participating,” and any candidate trying to squeeze in will “need to enter with the smallest footprint possible.” Because baseball and softball "involve so many participants," their presence or absence will “drastically reshape the field" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/1).

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