The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

Community Reacts to New and Renewed Olympic Sports

Illustration by Maya Stone

In October, the International Olympic Committee approved six new sports for the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Flag football, which Menlo introduced as a girls varsity sport this season, continues to have its moment in the spotlight and is set to make its Olympic debut alongside squash. Baseball, softball, lacrosse, and cricket are all being reintroduced to the Olympics.

Boys varsity lacrosse coach Blake Kim is excited to see lacrosse in the Olympics but recognizes the importance for other sports as well. “The announcement was huge for a lot of sports that have been hoping to get that global recognition,” Kim said.

Likewise, sophomore lacrosse player Elia Choe believes lacrosse’s inclusion in the Olympics will be a positive one. Men’s lacrosse appeared in the Olympics in 1904 and 1908 but women’s lacrosse has never been in the Olympics before. “I think it’s really good exposure for the sport,” Choe said. “I’m really excited about it.”

Because lacrosse is primarily played in the United States and Canada, many lacrosse players will seek out another country they are eligible to play for where there will be less competition to join the national team. For Choe, that would mean representing Korea. “If I got the chance to represent my country in the Olympics, I definitely would [go],” she said.

 Lacrosse will be played in a more condensed 6v6 version of the game called Sixes. Because there are fewer players on the field, Sixes is played on a smaller field and with a shortened game length. “It’s more reasonable just because not everyone in the world can just create a whole team,” Choe said. “But at the same time, I feel like it’d be really good to show the true form [of lacrosse].”

Kim believes there are many positives to the revised game, such as its fast pace. “I’ve seen exhibition games at a very high level with the style they’re going to play,” Kim said. “It looks like an ice hockey game, played on turf, basically.”

Baseball, a sport played internationally already with tournaments such as the World Baseball Classic, was revived in the 2020 Olympics after a 12-year hiatus but will not return until the 2028 Olympics. “Baseball is a sport a lot of different countries participate in, there are lots of different leagues like in Latin America and Asia so adding it to the Olympics is pretty cool,” senior baseball player Ryan Schnell said.

While cricket may not be very popular in the U.S., junior Kieran Pichai enjoys watching the sport and has been to many tournaments before. “I think [adding cricket] is a step in the right direction for the Olympics,” Pichai said. “And I think that India will definitely dominate the tournament.” Cricket is the second most-watched sport worldwide and Major League Cricket, a professional cricket league in the U.S., held its inaugural season this summer. “A lot of different continents play it, especially continents that are not as well represented in the Olympics right now,” he said.

Junior Isha Gupta plays competitive squash and can’t wait to see squash in the Olympics. “I’m so incredibly excited,” Gupta said. She is excited for the recognition her sport will get. “I think like every kid when they’re little is like ‘I want to be in the Olympics.’ […] And you kind of have that aspiration. And like, for squash, you didn’t have that same bigger, global stage.” While there are several global squash tournaments, Gupta believes the Olympics is a special status. She recalls times when people have told her that squash is not a sport and hopes the Olympics will help prove that not only is squash a sport, but a physically demanding one as well. 

While Gupta is not sure if she will go pro after college, she will for sure watch squash in the 2028 Olympics. “I’m definitely going to try to go to L.A.”

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About the Contributor
Devon Schaefer, Sports Editor

Number of years in The Coat of Arms: 2

Favorite aspect of journalism: sharing fascinating stories with the Menlo community

Interests outside of school: lacrosse, soccer, cooking, reading

Class of 2025

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