Surfing, skateboarding, climbing part of initial 2028 Los Angeles Olympics program

Surfing Olympics Los Angeles 2028
Surfing will be featured at the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles
REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

The sports of skateboarding, sports climbing, and surfing that were first featured at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have been included in the initial sports program for the 2028 Games in Los Angeles, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Thursday.

Weightlifting, boxing and modern pentathlon were not among the 28 sports, however, and must meet certain criteria in 2023 to be included, IOC President Thomas Bach told an online news conference at the end of an executive board meeting.

Boxing and weightlifting have been struggling with the weight of corruption, governance, finance, and judging scandals and have been warned by the IOC to reform or miss out on the Games.

An IOC session in February will approve the initial program. The three sports which are left out will be up for re-inclusion at the IOC session in 2023.

Skateboarding, sports climbing and surfing made their Olympic debuts in Tokyo this year, with the Games delayed by a year due to COVID-19, and were a major success among young viewers.

“The proposed inclusion of these youth-based sports is based on the success of Tokyo 2020, a commitment to innovation and also recognizes the deep roots each of these three sports have in Los Angeles and in California,” Bach said.

The three sports were already part of the program for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

For weightlifting and boxing, their exclusion from the 2028 Games initial program is a major blow as the international federations have struggled to meet IOC demanded reforms.

Bach said boxing federation AIBA must change its judging and refereeing system, increase financial transparency and diversify its revenues.

Weightlifting, which has been rocked by revelations of doping cover-ups and decades of corruption that have led to charges against top federation officials, must address a change in culture and major doping issues.

“The IWF and its future leadership must demonstrate its transition towards compliance and effective change in culture,” Bach said.

“It must address the historical incidents of doping.. and ensure integrity and robustness of anti-doping.”

NO HORSES

Modern pentathlon, part of the Games for more than a century, must provide plans for an event to replace horse riding following a scandal during the Tokyo Games in which a horse was hit by a trainer.

The sport was created by Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympics.

“The UIPM (modern pentathlon federation) must finalize its proposal for a replacement of horse riding and overall competition format … they must demonstrate significant reduction in cost … and appeal to youth and the general public,” Bach said.

President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas BachReuters file

The UIPM, which will use horses at the Paris Olympics, will not have riding as a fifth discipline in Los Angeles in order to replace it with one that costs less and increases the sport’s accessibility.

The decision to drop riding came after Germany’s modern pentathlon coach Kim Raisner hit a horse at the Tokyo Games when it refused to jump a fence, leading to widespread criticism of the sport.

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