In case you hadn’t already heard the news- Surfing, along with Baseball/Softball, Sport Climbing, Karate and Skateboarding, was proposed as a potential additional sport in the 2020 Summer Olympics, hosted by Japan. The proposal, made by the Tokyo Olympic Organising committee, follows an earlier bid put forward by the ISA (International Surfing Association), a move backed by the WSL, who have released the following statement –
"We are pleased that surfing has been recommended for inclusion in the 2020 Games by the Tokyo Olympic Organizers," said Kieren Perrow, Commissioner of the World Surf League, the sport's global professional governing body. "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."
The Tokyo 2020 panel has been keen to emphasise the importance connecting youth to the Games, and it is the youth factor that has been crucial to the approval of both surfing and skating. As STAB magazine mentions, its important to remember that the games are still 5 years away, and that some of our favourite shredders may not be in the running for medals. Mick Fanning will be 39, Kelly Slater 48…it might be an idea to start scrubbing up on the groms so you know who is in the line up when the time (hopefully) comes.
The competition would involve 40 surfers from around the world, a men and a women’s event, with 20 in each field. But what we are yet to find out is how the event will run. “Will it be ocean or pool?” seems to be the question on many people minds. With the success of the Red Bull Unleashed event that we loved just a few weekends ago, we may well be looking at a pool comp. We are very excited.