Olympic Surfing Official | IOC Votes Yes for Surfing in Tokyo 2020
OLYMPIC SURFING OFFICIAL | IOC Votes Surfing in to the Sports Program for Tokyo 2020
Duke Kahanamoku’s dream for Olympic Surfing
The dream of Olympic Surfing started with Duke Kahanamoku, an Olympic Gold Medalist in swimming and native Hawaiian known as the father of modern Surfing. Duke first presented his dream at the 1912 Summer Olympic Games in Stockholm, where he expressed his wish to the International Olympic Committee to see Surfing included in the Games.
More than a century later, Fernando Aguerre and his team at the ISA have continued to pursue the Duke’s dream and have finally achieved a key milestone in making it a reality. “Surfing is ready to embrace the Olympics and take its inspiration, love and passion to the world’s greatest sporting stage.”
The surfing venue in the Chiba Prefecture of Japan will be set up as a high energy beach festival comprised of live music concerts, sponsorship exhibitions, merchandising, vendor villages and a variety of food / beverage options.
The Road to Making Olympic Surfing Official
Originally Published on the ISA Website
Fernando Aguerre, a member of Argentina’s National Surfing Team, was elected President of the ISA in 1994. In 1995, shortly after being elected, Aguerre met with the then IOC President, Juan Antonio Samaranch in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he made it clear that the inclusion of Surfing in the Olympic Games would be a strategic priority for the ISA.
Since that meeting in Lausanne, the ISA has taken great steps forward both in the global development of the sport and in edging closer to Olympic inclusion, with the ultimate goal of spreading the joy of Surfing to all corners of the world. With 32 Member Nations in 1995, the ISA has now grown to 100 Members and counting, reaching non-traditional surfing markets such as Iran, Sierra Leone, and Russia to name a few.
Despite several unsuccessful attempts to promote Surfing’s inclusion into the Games through the first decades of Aguerre’s mandate, the ISA President persisted and pushed forward and in 2014, the ISA was given a new breath of life under the new leadership of IOC President Thomas Bach. Bach brought a new vision to the Olympics, realizing the need to add youthful, vibrant sports. The door was opened for 26 sports, which included Surfing and SUP, to apply for inclusion in the Tokyo 2020 Games, an opportunity that was ecstatically welcomed by the ISA.
Two years later, having been recommended by Tokyo 2020 and supported by the IOC Executive Board, Surfing has finally achieved official Olympic recognition by the International Olympic Committee. The final vote on surfing’s official Olympic inclusion at the 129th IOC Session on August 3rd at the Summer Olympics in Rio will go down in one of the most significant moment’s in the history of the sport of surfing.