Motorsport Could Be an Event at the Los Angeles Olympic Games
Hammer throw, high jump, karting. Sounds good to us!
The modern Olympics is an ever-changing milieu of the best and worst sports on the planet. As the authorities behind the global sporting phenomenon make plans for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, it appears that motorsport could become part of the proceedings.
As reported by Reuters, the International Olympic Committee is contemplating which new sports will debut at the Los Angeles event. The list is rich and varied, with a strong American flavor, including flag football, lacrosse, and baseball-softball. The list is filled out with cricket, breakdancing, karate, kickboxing, squash, and motorsport.
The case for motorsport is a little vague, with no present indication of what type of racing would be involved. Likely contenders could be some kind of autocross or karting event that could readily take place inside an Olympic stadium, with disciplines like rally and oval racing perhaps less likely due to the infrastructure needed. Really, though, it's all speculation at this stage. Electric competition could be the go due to the IOC's recent focus on sustainability.
Of the sports being considered, flag football is a leading contender, with the potential for big names of the NFL to get involved on the world stage. Cricket, too, is a strong contender, due to its large global stature. "We expect a decision [from the organizers] in the coming weeks," IFAF President Pierre Trochet said in a recent press call.
It bears noting that it's typical for any given Olympics to host a range of new sports. The Paris 2024 Olympic Games will feature breakdancing, sport climbing, skateboarding, and surfing—a full four sports outside the standard slate of Olympic events. However, it bears noting that the latter three also appeared as "new" events at the Tokyo Games, too.
The Olympics does have some tenuous association with motorsport already and has officially recognized the FIA's role as the relevant international federation. The 2018 Summer Youth Olympics hosted an electric karting event, albeit one that didn't award medals.
A similar competition was held at the 2020 Youth Olympic Games, as well, in part thanks to efforts by FIA karting president Felipe Massa. The Olympic Virtual series has also included a variety of e-sports events, under the guise of the FIA Gran Turismo Championships.
Authorities will reveal the final sports selected for the Los Angeles Olympics in October. It's perhaps likely that a gold medal in motorsport won't mean as much as winning a World Championship, just as winning one in tennis pales in comparison to lofting the cup at Wimbledon. Regardless, it could do a little to boost the profile of motorsport to outsiders who haven't sat down to watch a race before. That could be a good thing.
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