Today, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) formally included surfing as a gold medal sport in the Sports Programme for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games.
The International Surfing Association expressed its gratitude and excitement following today’s decision to add Surfing to the Sports Program. The vote was taken at the 129th IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro.
ISA President, Fernando Aguerre, said: “After decades of hard work and dedication we are absolutely thrilled that Surfing will officially join the Olympic Sports Program at Tokyo 2020. Our Olympic dream has now become a reality and on behalf of the entire Surfing family I would like to express our sincere thanks to the IOC and Tokyo 2020 for their pioneering vision in making this historic decision possible.
“This is a game-changing moment for Surfing. We are already seeing increased popularity of the sport across the world and the Olympic Games will provide an incredible platform to further showcase Surfing and its core values. With its unique and modern blend of sport performance, style and youth culture, Surfing will help deliver something special to the Games.
“We are especially stoked for the athletes who now have their own dream to shoot for – to compete for their countries on the greatest sporting stage. We can’t wait to see the world’s best going head to head on the waves in Tokyo and millions of Surfing fans revelling in the competition and the fantastic festival atmosphere of the beach party.
“We know the hard work does not stop here. We look forward with great enthusiasm and energy to working in partnership with the IOC and Tokyo 2020 as we aim to make Surfing’s Olympic debut a resounding success.”
“Congratulations to ISA President, Fernando Aguerre, and the ISA on their successful bid to have the sport included in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,” said Paul Speaker, CEO of the World Surf League (WSL), the globally recognized home of professional surfing.
“This is a huge moment for professional surfing and further highlights surfing’s rise as a global participatory and spectator sport. As home to the world’s best surfing, the WSL looks forward to working with the ISA to ensure that the sport is showcased in the best possible manner and with the world’s best athletes. It is awesome that our incredible athletes will have the opportunity to showcase their talents and skills to the global Olympic audience and compete for their countries.”
Kieren Perrow, Commissioner of the World Surf League added, “The WSL has worked tirelessly to provide all of its surfers with opportunities to develop as professional athletes and to expand global participation in the sport of surfing. We’re excited by the IOC’s decision and look forward to what it means for the future of professional surfing.”
“For the sport, being accepted onto the Olympic stage is a great step forward. Surfing continues to grow and seeing it reach the Olympic level is really exciting,” said John John Florence, current WSL #2. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity of representing our country if I’m fortunate enough to make the U.S. team.”
The Organising Committee for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 proposed the new sports in response to the new flexibility provided by Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC’s strategic roadmap for the futures of the Olympic Movement, to encourage innovation in the Olympic program. Olympic Agenda 2020 gives host cities the option of suggesting new sports and events for inclusion in their edition of the Games.