Is Virat Kohli in a good position to compete in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics?


Is Virat Kohli in a good position to compete in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics?

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India’s bid to host the 2036 Olympic Games received a significant boost, thanks to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recognition of the nation’s efforts. Cricket, after a hiatus of 128 years, has reclaimed its spot on the grand stage of multi-sport events. The 141st IOC Session in Mumbai witnessed the reinstatement of cricket into the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic lineup. Virat Kohli stands as the quintessential face of cricket, even in regions where the sport is either unfamiliar or just beginning to gain traction.

In a momentous turn of events, the IOC Session concluded in Mumbai with a tale of bat and ball, offering the cricket-crazed nation an opportunity to vie for the prestigious Olympic gold medal. India temporarily set aside its fervor for the World Cup to commemorate cricket’s return to the Olympic fold.

Recognition for the sport’s resurgence since the 1900 Games extended far and wide, with various stakeholders being acknowledged. It was Niccolo Campriani, the Sports Director of the Los Angeles 2028 Organising Committee, who resonated deeply with India by spotlighting Virat Kohli.

Of all the contemporary cricketing luminaries, Virat undoubtedly reigns supreme, his name echoing through regions where cricket either remains unplayed or is just beginning to establish its presence. This includes the hosts of the 2028 Games—the United States of America.

Highlighting Virat Kohli’s digital popularity in the context of its impact on the global sports community, Campriani, a triple Olympic gold medallist in shooting, attributed the cricketing legend’s immense following as a pivotal factor in reinstating cricket as an Olympic sport.

“Recognizing the vital role of a robust digital presence in engaging the youth with the Games… My friend Virat stands as the third most followed athlete worldwide on social media, boasting an impressive 340 million followers. This surpasses the combined followings of LeBron James (NBA legend), Tom Brady (American football icon), and Tiger Woods (golf legend),” mentioned Campriani during his address.

Campriani’s revelation regarding Virat’s sway in the IOC’s decision-making process has garnered widespread attention and is poised to spark discussions, including speculation about Virat’s potential participation in the LA 2028 Games.

The discussion about Virat’s potential participation in the LA 2028 Olympics is premature, particularly given his remarkable fitness levels at 34, where he continues to perform at his peak. However, it’s worth acknowledging that five years can bring about significant changes, and elite athletes approaching 40 must consider various factors, including family life, physical condition, form, mental well-being, and potential burnout.

Former Indian cricketer and member of the 1983 World Cup-winning team, Madan Lal, emphasized the paramount importance of fitness on the field. He noted that maintaining fitness is a personal responsibility, commending Virat’s dedication as an exemplary model.

Madan Lal suggested that the decision regarding Virat’s participation in T20 cricket at the LA 2028 Olympics should ultimately hinge on his fitness level. As athletes age, increased effort is required to sustain peak fitness. Ultimately, it boils down to Virat’s physical condition and mindset. If he remains fit and committed to the game, he possesses the capability to compete in the 2028 Olympics, given the T20 format.

Regarding the format, it’s crucial to consider that T20s entail fewer balls faced and shorter durations on the field compared to ODIs and Tests. However, the turnaround time between games is notably swift in T20 matches, necessitating rapid recovery.

Drawing a parallel, Sachin Tendulkar extended his career until the age of 40, underscoring the possibility for batsmen to prolong their playing years compared to bowlers. Kirti Azad emphasized this point, highlighting that batters often have an extended career span in the sport.

Kirti, a teammate of Madan Lal during the 1983 World Cup victory, acknowledged the challenges that older bowlers face in continuing their careers. He cited Sachin Tendulkar’s exceptional fitness that allowed him to play until the age of 40, but emphasized that Virat’s fitness level surpasses even the cricketing legend’s.

Expressing optimism, Kirti hopes that Virat will participate in the 2028 Olympics, given his outstanding fitness and performance record. He underlined that while fitness is crucial, a player’s performance is equally significant in securing a spot. No matter how physically fit a player may be, without strong performance, selection may not be guaranteed.

On a global scale, figures like Cristiano Ronaldo and LeBron James are renowned for establishing high standards of fitness. Even at 38 years old, both Ronaldo and James continue to prove themselves as pivotal players, exemplifying the impact of top-tier physical condition on their performance.


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