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Danny Logan poses in front of the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

USA Athletes Eager to Participate in 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles

October 26, 2023
Matt DaSilva
Marc Piscotty

Danny Logan is already doing the math in his head. So are Dempsey Arsenault and Tom Schreiber.

Established USA athletes are wondering what it will take to represent the United States in the 2028 Olympics.

“I’ll be just on the other side of 30,” said Logan, a short-stick defensive midfielder for the gold medal-winning 2023 U.S. men’s national team and part of the 2024 U.S. men’s box national team player pool. “Hopefully the body hangs on and my career and life are in a good spot to make a run at it. It’s in the back of everyone’s mind.”

Arsenault and Schreiber both have experience with the sixes discipline that will be utilized in the Games. Launched by World Lacrosse in 2021, the fast-paced, high-scoring, six-on-six hybrid of box and field lacrosse has spawned spinoffs by Athletes Unlimited and the Premier Lacrosse League.

“We’ll all contribute to what this game will look like in 2028. That’s a good thing,” said Schreiber, the PLL MVP and a member of the U.S. men’s national team (field, box and sixes) since 2017. “2028 doesn't sound all that far away, but you’re likely dealing with a totally new crop of players by then — guys who could have some pretty meaningful experience with that discipline.”

The World Lacrosse Sixes Championships will be staged in 2026 as an Olympic-qualifying event, with a Sixes World Series taking place annually across different continents. 

“I am not sure what capacity I will be representing the U.S., whether it’s competing for a roster spot or cheering as loud as I can from the stadium,” said Arsenault, a midfielder for the gold medal-winning 2022 U.S. women’s national team who suited up in the recent Super Sixes event featuring teams from Canada, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, Kenya and the United States. “Regardless, the inclusion of lacrosse in the 2028 Olympics holds tremendous significance for everyone in the lacrosse world.”

Arsenault, Logan and Schreiber each has a family connection to the Olympics.

Arsenault’s great-grandfather, Bob McAllister, was a 100-meter sprinter who competed in the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam. An NYPD officer, he was known as The Flying Cop.

Logan’s late uncle, Jud Logan, was a four-time U.S. Olympic hammer thrower who once set an American record when he flung a 16-pound metal ball 268 feet, 8 inches. Logan never got to see him compete, but as a young boy he often gawked at the multicolored tattoo of the intersecting rings stretched across his uncle’s gargantuan left calf.

Schreiber couldn’t make it to Rio when his wife, Kathleen, competed in the 2016 Games for the U.S. field hockey team. They were during the Major League Lacrosse playoffs.

“An incredible step for the game. As somebody who has had the opportunity to don the USA jersey before, it’s special,” Schreiber said. “I love the Olympics. The Olympics are close to my heart. I know how special an event it is and how cool it will be for the game to get that worldwide recognition.”

The Olympic news broke the same weekend of the USA Lacrosse Fall Classic, when the U.S. senior men and U.S. U20 women took the field against Canada and college lacrosse powerhouses Penn State and Northwestern, respectively, at Tierney Field in Sparks, Md. The teams were at the hotel Oct. 13 when the IOC announced that the executive board had accepted the recommendation of the Los Angeles 2028 organizing committee to add lacrosse and four other sports to the traditional program.

“If lacrosse is in the Olympics, this sport is just going to take off,” said Asher Nolting, part of the 2023 U.S. training team. “We were all pretty pumped at breakfast and at practice definitely there was some excitement about it.”

Three days later, the assembled leaders of international sport ratified the proposal at the IOC Session in Mumbai, India. For the first time in more than a century, lacrosse will be contested as a medal sport in the Olympic Games.

“This is now the new pinnacle of the sport,” Logan said, “winning an Olympic medal.”

One of the primary benefits of Olympic inclusion are the Games’ massive reach. The total global audience for the Tokyo Olympics was 3.05 billion. The events averaged more than 15 million viewers per day. A record 5.5 billion minutes of Olympic content was consumed on social media and online platforms.

“It will show the world how beautiful this sport is,” said Ally Mastroianni, a midfielder and key contributor in the U.S. women’s national team’s win over Canada in the 2022 world championship final.

Lacrosse was a medal sport in the 1904 and 1908 Olympics. It was a demonstration sport in 1928, 1932 and 1948. World Lacrosse has spent the better part of the last 20 years aligning the international lacrosse community for this moment. The sport is now played in nearly 100 countries on six continents. World Lacrosse hopes to grow that number 120 in the next few years.

“It’s a long time coming,” said women’s lacrosse superstar Charlotte North, a member of the 2022 U.S. women’s national team and 2024 U.S. women’s box training team. “It’s such an exciting sport that is growing so fast. The numbers show it. The product shows it. It’s exactly what this sport deserves.”

“It really hit me when we were in Japan [with the PLL],” said Michael Sowers, an All-World selection for the U.S. team this past summer in San Diego. “You go there, and people know who you are, literally around the world. That was crazy. For lacrosse to take the next step, it’s certainly in the Olympics.” 

Syracuse sensation Joey Spallina, the youngest player in the 2024 U.S. men’s box player pool, noted while competing at the North American Invitational (LAXNAI) that he saw the Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team featured on ESPN’s flagship college football show “College Gameday” when Pat McAfee and company were in South Bend to hype up the Notre Dame-Ohio State game Sept. 23.

“There’s so much exposure right now for lacrosse,” said Spallina, a college sophomore who mused about playing lacrosse on an Olympic stage that made legends out of world-class athletes like Usain Bolt and added to the global appeal of basketball stars like Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and LeBron James. “The sport’s growing and the Olympics will be the next big step for lacrosse as a whole.”

Kenny DeJohn, Justin Feil and Matt Hamilton contributed to this article.