By Jay Vilarrubi-Smith
The Olympics is a global event we all love to watch. However, unless you happen to be able to throw something oddly far, or you’re skilled at poking someone with a pointy sword, it’s not something the everyday person truly aspires to compete in.
Although that could change for those of us that enjoy pulling on the neoprene and waxing up our sticks, as a major announcement was made yesterday by Tokyo 2020, detailing their recommendation to the IOC that Surfing should be included in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The inclusion of Surfing in the Olympics will no doubt be questioned by some, and probably laughed at by others. With the age old debate between free-surfing and competition surfing raging on, the very idea of Surfing featuring in such an iconic and mainstream event such as the Olympics throws up some interesting conflicts.
However ISA President Fernando Aguerre is no doubt that this announcement is a positive for the sport of Surfing. In a statement released on the ISA website yesterday, he said:
“Tokyo 2020’s announcement today is an extraordinary moment for our sport and for the global Surfing Community. The ISA has been riding an amazing wave in this journey for Olympic inclusion and we are thrilled that Tokyo 2020 recognise the exceptional value and youthful lifestyle that Surfing can bring to the 2020 Games. We are deeply grateful to Tokyo 2020 and the IOC for providing us with this wonderful opportunity. 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.
“Surfing has incredible and growing global appeal, particularly amongst young people, and we believe that the dynamic energy of the sport and its fan base around the world would bring many benefits for Tokyo 2020 and the Games. Surfing embodies a cool, playful lifestyle that would add a completely new element to the programme, helping the Games reach new fans through live action and stunning broadcast opportunities.
“Today’s announcement gives us renewed drive and focus and we are looking forward to working closely with the IOC and Tokyo 2020 in the crucial months ahead to deliver the best possible solution to the IOC Session in Rio.”
A final decision will be made by the IOC in August 2016, with skateboarding, baseball/softball, sport climbing and karate also recommended for inclusion. In the meantime, it’s time to head out to your local beach and chase that Olympic dream.