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What’s in and what’s out at the 2024 Olympics

The official Breaking pictogram for the 2024 Olympics

The Olympics excite and unite people around the world through sports. Some sports are notably missing from the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, while others will have the chance to gain new fans.

Breakdancing, officially known as breaking, will make its debut at the Olympics this year. As I wrote about in my article on who is representing the United States in the Olympics, the USA is sending two breakers to Paris: Sunny Choi and Victor Montalvo. 

Climbing, skateboarding, and surfing, which all made their Olympic debuts in 2020, will return to Paris. Now, the athletes in these sports will get the chance to compete in front of fans for the first time on the world stage. 

Baseball, one of the most popular sports in Japan and the United States, will not be featured in the Olympics this season. There was concern from Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred over the interference and interruption of the MLB season. Fans of America’s favorite pastime can continue to watch the sport, though, as the MLB will run as normal this summer. Especially with the fun surrounding the World Baseball Classic (which will happen again in 2026) last year, it is disappointing that baseball won’t be seen on the world stage this year.

Softball will also be missing from this year’s Olympics. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) views baseball and softball as one sport. It’s unfortunate, for softball players, fans, and just fans of women's sports, that the sport does not get the chance to be showcased on the world stage. It’s especially frustrating when this comes as a result of, what feels like, its male counterpart not being able to do the same. But alas, the IOC gets to approve which sports the host city adds (or doesn’t have) as a result of the popularity and the number of countries that would participate. We can only hope that with the growth of Women’s Professional Fastpitch comes accessible broadcasts of games.

Baseball and softball haven’t consistently been in the Olympics and were featured in only one (2020) of the past three Olympic Games, so their absence, while saddening, does not come as a complete surprise. Both sports will return for the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

Karate, which was first featured in the Olympics in 2020, will unfortunately not make its next Olympics appearance any time soon. The IOC does not think the sport has the popularity or entertainment value it wants to see. I think it's difficult to determine and argue that karate does not entertain fans, as fans were not allowed to attend its only Olympic appearance as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Karate, sadly, does not get the chance to prove the IOC wrong in Paris or in Los Angeles, as it did not get picked from the 2028 Olympics shortlist.

In addition to baseball and softball, the IOC will be considering cricket, flag football, lacrosse, and squash for the 2028 Olympics. Hopefully, after the Olympics on the MLB’s home soil, baseball, along with softball (which should be viewed as its own separate sport, because it is), will be included in every Olympics. The IOC’s concern is connecting to younger fans, and if young fans have proven anything during the summer, it’s that they love baseball and softball.

Edited By: Bailey Massey


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