Surfing to be in Olympics 2020
With the 2016 Rio Olympics currently underway, it is with great surprise to hear that Hawaiʻi’s favorite sport of surfing has been voted into the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan. As of Tuesday last week, the votes were finalized by the International Olympic Committee to support the inclusion of Surfing be a featured Olympic sport. This discussion stems from a long hard fought battle lead by the International Surfing Association president and Reef Sandals co-founder Fernando Aguerre, who has been spearheading the charge on this initiative for several years.
Here are some of the specifics regarding the surfing Olympic format:
- The event will take place in the ocean, not a wave pool.
- Venue will be held in Chiba, a town about 45-minutes from Tokyo
- There will be 40 competitors in total: 20 men, 20 women
- High-performance shortboarding only; no longboard, bodyboard, or SUP division
- Countries from all over the world will be represented, including many surfers not on the WorldChampionship Tour
It will be exciting to keep an eye on the upcoming Hawaiʻi surfing youth as they will all be aiming for a spot on Team USA in the near future.
Other sports that were also voted on by the IOC to be included in the 2020 Summer Olympics are Baseball/Softball, Karate, Skateboarding, and Sports Climbing.