By Robert Fawdon, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug 3, 2016: The International Surfing Association (ISA) has expressed its gratitude and excitement following today’s decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to add Surfing to the Sports Programme for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The vote was taken at the 129th IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro (surfing Tokyo 2020).
ISA President, Fernando Aguerre, said:
“After decades of hard work and dedication we are absolutely thrilled that Surfing will officially join the Olympic Sports Programme 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.”
About the International Surfing Association:
The International Surfing Association (ISA), founded in 1964, is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the World Governing Body for Surfing, StandUp Paddle (SUP) Racing and Surfing, Bodyboarding, Adaptive Surfing, Kneeboarding, and all other wave riding activities, including the use of wave riding equipment on flat water.
The ISA crowned its first Men’s and Women’s World Champions in 1964 and holds annual world championships for national teams and surfers officially representing their countries in the aforementioned disciplines.
With 35 million surfers worldwide, the ISA is committed to the global development and promotion of surfing and all its disciplines, running a number of key programmes including the ISA Coaching & Instructing Programme, the ISA Judging Programme, the ISA Adaptive Surfing Symposium and the ISA Scholarship Programme assisting underserved youth surfers from around the world to enhance their careers while continuing their education.
Headquartered in La Jolla, California (USA), the ISA includes National Federations governing surfing and its disciplines in 100 countries on five continents. —- Photo: ISA / Gonzales