International Surfing Association (ISA) president Fernando Aguerre has welcomed the news that Tokyo 2020 has recommended to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that surfing take place on natural ocean waves if it is included on the sports programme for the Tokyo 2020 Games, but has maintained the federation is committed to developing wave pool technology.
The IOC this week confirmed that surfing will be staged on the ocean waves at the 2020 Olympics, should it be approved as an additional sport for Tokyo’s Games. The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee last month proposed baseball/softball, karate, skateboard, sports climbing and surfing as additional sports for its staging of the Olympic Games.
Men’s baseball and women’s softball are proposed, along with the kata and kumite forms of karate, street and park skateboarding; the bouldering, lead and speed combined disciplines of sports climbing and shortboard surfing. However, the issue of whether surfing would be held in the ocean or utilise a ‘surf park’ facility creating artificial waves had yet to be clarified.
Aguerre said: “We are delighted that surfing will take place on natural waves if it is admitted to the Tokyo 2020 Sports Programme. Surfing is hugely popular in Japan and the country has hosted many national and international competitions in a number of beautiful ocean locations. There are some great and thriving beach-based surfing hotspots to choose from which would be ideal for Olympic surfing.
“We hope to bring the unique style and culture of surfing to the Games and work with Tokyo 2020 and the IOC to create an amazing ‘beach party’ atmosphere providing unforgettable memories for athletes, spectators, broadcasters and fans around the world.”
The ISA president added: “The new wave pool technology remains very much on the surfing agenda and the next generation of wave parks are on their way. It is great to know that surfing is developing and growing on so many different fronts. These are exciting times for our sport.”