A photo from the International Federation of American Football Paris Facebook Page International Federation of American Football Paris Facebook Page

Flag Football just made its way into the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics. This will be the first time any kind of football is showcased on the Olympic stage, and getting it to this iconic sporting event hasn't been a short process. For the last two years, the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Executive Board, IOC Olympic Program​ Commission and Los Angeles 2028 Organizing Committee recommended the sport be added to the Olympics.

This discipline will be a great opportunity for some countries like United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Spain and others to increase their chances for a medal as flag football has a strong following there.

The NFL describes Flag Football as a short, fast, non-contact and gender-equal format, more accessible and inclusive version of American football. The statement emphasizes that the sport has growing popularity among girls and women. According to the NFL, an estimated 20 million people play Flag Football across 100 countries.

"Congratulations to the International Federation of American Football on this landmark achievement for flag football and the global community that loves and plays our game." NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. "It's a tremendous honor for any athlete to represent their country at the Olympics. We have no doubt that this decision will inspire millions of young people around the world to play this game in the years ahead."

The sport already has World Championships under the IFAF, and in the 2022 edition Mexico's women Flag Football team won the competition beating the U.S. The U.S. and Mexico dominate the sports, but latest competitions in the male and female categories were both won by the U.S.

IFAF has Flag Football teams in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Cuba and Uruguay, meaning its highly likely the medals will stay in the Western Hemisphere.

The quarterback from Mexico's team and World Games gold medalist and Chair of the IFAF Athletes' Committee, Diana Flores, in the NFL Communications post, shared her zeal and the excitement of many more Flag Football players who look forward to Los Angeles in 2028.

"To compete in the Olympic Games is the ultimate dream of every athlete, and millions of flag football players around the world will go to sleep dreaming of Los Angeles 2028 tonight. I want to thank everyone who has made this possible - including all my fellow athletes and ambassadors who have played such a central role in driving the project forward." Flores said. "Together, we are determined to use this incredible stage to showcase the best of flag football - its speed, athleticism and creativity, and also its power to transform lives and include new communities in sports. As an athlete community, we are proud to be leading the way, but our goal must be to use this opportunity to inspire, lift up and empower a new generation around the world."

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.