Will surfing be part of the 2020 Olympics?
Words by Jake Howard One step closer to joining the ranks of skeet shooting and javelin throw, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has officially recommended surfing for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. “Tokyo 2020’s announcement today is an extraordinary moment for our sport and for the global Surfing Community,” said President of the International […]
Words by Jake Howard
One step closer to joining the ranks of skeet shooting and javelin throw, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has officially recommended surfing for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“Tokyo 2020’s announcement today is an extraordinary moment for our sport and for the global Surfing Community,” said President of the International Surfing Association (ISA) Fernando Aguerre in a prepared statement. “We are immensely proud of our sport and what it would bring to the Games and we will continue to work closely with the Olympic Movement to achieve our Olympic dream.”
The next step in the process will come at the Rio Games in August 2016, where the IOC will make its final decision. One of five sports being considered, karate, baseball/softball, skateboarding and sports climbing are also on the menu.
“Tokyo 2020 believes the proposed additional events will inspire young athletes involved in these events around the world to strive to achieve their cherished dream of competing in the world’s greatest sporting spectacle,” said organizers of the Tokyo Games.
Tokyo is not exactly the North Shore, and while the IOC mulls over the validity of surfing as a sport they’ll also be considering a location for the venue. Is this the big break wave pools have been waiting for? Or will it be three to the beach at Shonan?
Wave pool, or real waves? The next big debate.
And before we get too excited about who’s going to be repping their country’s colors, the Tokyo Games are still five years away. If one of the objectives of bringing surfing into the Games is to increase “youth appeal” keep in mind that Kelly will be 48, Mick will be 39, Dane will be 35 and John John, he’ll be a spry 27. That gives a kid with a Greenough-inspired mullet like Jack Robinson a fair shot at being an early gold medal favorite. Think today’s hottest 15-year-olds could be tomorrow’s first Olympians.
The news has garnered praise from the WSL as well. “We are pleased that surfing has been recommended for inclusion in the 2020 Games by the Tokyo Olympic Organizers,” said Commissioner Kieren Perrow. “Surfing’s international growth over the past few years, its loyal and enthusiastic fans combined with its globally recognized athletes makes it an ideal sport to showcase on the Olympic stage. We’re excited to show billions of Olympic viewers the athleticism and artistry of these world-class surfers.”
One more IOC vote and surfing in the Olympics is a done deal…we know you have an opinion.
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