The traditional sport of ocean wave Surfing has been announced as an official Olympic Sport for the 2020 Olympic Games.
Here is some latest from around the web on this breaking news event:
Paul Speaker is a busy man. And for good reason. As CEO of the WSL, he’s taken on the supremely complex and wildly ambitious task of blasting professional surfing into the mainstream. Formerly an NFL exec and marketing guru, Speaker came to pro surfing in 2013, back when its biggest competitive organization was called the “Association of Surfing Professionals” (ASP). Surfline, August 11, 2016
Will They Be Surfing In Kelly’s Wave Pool?
Surfing has long been touted as the next sport to be included in the Olympics, but the question of where to have such an event in the case of land locked countries hosting the summer Olympics, has always made this a controversial issue. Will the surfers be competing in a completely different country/location to the rest of the event? This is more than likely due to the nature of the sport. However, the recent advancements with wave pool technology have raised the scope of creating surfing anywhere in the world in any conditions. Kelly Slater of the WSL – Kelly’s Wave Ranch fame just could be the artificial wave to make surfing Olympic trials a spectacle everyone at the games would be able to enjoy.
Modern Surfer Travels Light
One of the key components of the modern professional surfer is the large amount of surfboards your average pro travels with. Some surfers arrive at events with 10 surfboards for that particular location and this puts an enormous amount of pressure on travel equipment such as surfboard travel bags. In fact without the modern convenience of the removal fin system, such as FCS fins or Futures fins, the idea of packing in 10 or more boards for an international plane trip would be most cumbersome. Back in the day before fins could be removed with ease, the old style of fin was permanently attached by fiberglass and rovings to the board. Being able to stack in multiple boards flat, into a surfing travel bag is a big bonus for the traveling surfer, professional, amateur or recreational.
The historic decision was announced by the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee this 28th September 2015. Surfing – alongside skateboarding, karate, sports climbing, and baseball/softball – has been proposed by the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee to enter the Olympic Games. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) should confirm the new sports at the 129th IOC Session, in Rio, in August 2016.
It’s been a long discussion – should surfing be included in the Olympic movement? The so-called purists of the sport have often showed antipathy towards the idea; the progressivists embraced and supported it.
However, the biggest winner here is clearly Fernando Aguerre. The president of the International Surfing Association (ISA) has been fighting for the inclusion of surfing in the Olympic Games for more than a decade. His arguments are valid and understandable.
“Surfing is truly a global sport, more popular and more widely practiced than many current Olympic sports. Surfing is pursued in every corner of the world, in more than a hundred countries. There are now over 35 million surfers worldwide!” wrote Aguerre.
“Surfers are a strong and positive influence on young people around the world. They are a very relevant part of our youth culture and serve as inspirational figures, naturally representing Olympic values.”