The Pan American Sport Organisation (PASO) has confirmed surfing will feature at the 2019 edition of its Pan American Games multi-sport event, which will be held in the Peruvian capital of Lima.
The decision to include surfing as one of 38 sports at the 2019 Games comes following a recommendation by the PASO Executive Committee and a request from the local organising committee in Lima.
Surfing will be one of 10 sports currently without Olympic status to feature on the 2019 programme alongside baseball, bowling, karate, racquetball, artistic and speed events in roller sports, softball, squash and water skiing. The other 28 events at the Games will comprise summer Olympic sports.
Although the exact details of the surfing events have not yet been defined, based on talks with PASO and Lima 2019, the International Surfing Association (ISA) expects the Games to feature shortboard and longboard surfing as well as standup paddle racing.
ISA president Fernando Aguerre said the decision to include surfing in the 2019 programme represents a “great moment” for the sport, stating that its appearance at the Games could help improve its chances of being added to the Tokyo 2020 summer Olympic Games. The ISA is one of eight international federations to have made it onto a shortlist of possible inclusions at Tokyo 2020.
“Surfing has a rich heritage in Peru and across the Americas and we’re excited to see the top surfing athletes showcasing their unique skills and incredible athletic ability in Lima in 2019,” Aguerre said. “Surfing has incredible youth appeal. Its unique core strengths and its global lifestyle and culture will add huge value and excitement to Lima 2019
“It’s wonderful to see surfing underlining its compatibility with a multi-sport format, where athletes can compete with pride and passion in unison with compatriots under their national flag. This adaptability is another strength that surfing can draw on as we also aim for inclusion in the Olympic Games.”