As May turned to June major waves rippled through the surfing and Olympic Games communities as it was revealed that yesterday the Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) supported a proposal to add five new sports to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Of course, surfing was one of the five; along with skateboarding, sport climbing, baseball/softball and karate. We think all these sports are rad but as surfers we’re especially interested in this new revelation by the IOC and wonder if it’s in any way connected to the recent unveiling of the artificial wave technology by the folks over at the Kelly Slater Wave Company.
This isn’t the first time surfing’s been considered as a potential Olympic sport. From past ruminations by one of our staff writers, “For over twenty years, there has been lengthy discussions of whether or not surfing should be an Olympic sport. Organizations like the International Surfing Association (ISA) have been strong proponents for surfing as an Olympic sport while the surfing community as a whole is not sold on the idea. The ISA wants to see the world’s best compete on the world’s biggest stage. The general surf community asks “how could a lifestyle be judged?” Even the mere mention of surfing and Olympics opens the proverbial can of worms for endless debates about just what is surfing anyway? A sport, or a lifestyle?”
And though the news is breaking on major media outlets like Huffington Post, the international surfing community heard rumblings of the coming storm as early as August of last year. Though social media posts from Japan’s most celebrated pro surfer Masatoshi Ohno, and ISA President Fernando Aguerre gave us glimmers of hope it’s nice to see the cat’s officially out of the bag on this one. We look forward to what Japan and 2020 has to offer as well as future Olympic venues and the progression of the sport as a whole.