18 Out Of 40 Olympic 2020 Slots Reserved For WSL CT Surfers
A feverish new development in the Japan games.
This morning, via the WSL’s electronic PR machine, a press release breach our inbox. In emboldened caps, “INTERNATIONAL SURFING ASSOCIATION AND WORLD SURF LEAGUE REACH LANDMARK AGREEMENT OF OLYMPIC QUALIFICATION” sprawled across our screens.
Surfing’s inclusion in the 2020 Olympic games is a hot topic. But, recently the flame’s resembled a spent wick without wax. Because in the meantime there have been titles, and John Johns, and Triple Crowns, and qualifications, and not-quite miracles spanning several miles. Plus, two years away feels like an eternity.
Let’s indulge in the WSL’s landmark presser:
The International Surfing Association (ISA) today announced an agreement with the World Surf League (WSL) on the qualification principles for surfing in the Olympics Games in Tokyo 2020, ensuring the participation of the world’s best surfers from the WSL Championship Tour (CT) as well as promoting universal opportunities for surfers around the world.
In principle, the agreement will see up to 18 of the 40 places at the Games reserved for WSL Championship Tour (CT) surfers (10 men and eight women), with the remaining 22 places determined at the 2019 and 2020 ISA World Surfing Games, the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, and a single slot (each for men and women) for the host nation (Japan).
With the support of the WSL, the ISA eligibility rules for Olympic participation will require surfers to make themselves available for their national teams to compete in the ISA World Surfing Games in 2019 and 2020 and, if selected by their National Federation, to participate.
The final decision on the complete process is subject to the approval of the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at its meeting in February 2018.
The agreement between the ISA and the WSL reinforces both organizations’ commitment to the successful Olympic debut for surfing, showcasing a strong collaboration between an IOC-recognized International Olympic Federation and the professional home of the world’s best surfers.
What does this mean for the 2020 Olympic Games? Will there be more than one entry from each country? The CT is dominated by US, Aussie and Brazilian faces. Will the Olympics be the same? What countries are the dark horses? Who’s surfing’s Jamaican bobsled team?
So many questions!
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