142 international athletes gather to celebrate the inauguration of the competition
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The 2016 INS ISA World Surfing Games was officially declared open by ISA Vice President, Casper Steinfath, marking the start of a week of intense competition to come in Playa Jacó, Costa Rica. Steinfath represented ISA President Fernando Aguerre, who is currently in Rio attending the 2016 Olympic Games following the International Olympic Committee’s decision earlier in the week to include Surfing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
In attendance were 142 athletes from 26 National Teams that travelled from around the world to compete for Gold Medals in the name of their nations. Dignitaries present at the ceremony included the Minister of Sport of Costa Rica, Carolina Mauri, the Mayor of Garabito, Tobías Murillo and President of the Costa Rican Surfing Federation, Randall Chaves.
ISA Vice President, Casper Steinfath, addressed the crowd of thousands on the beach in Playa Jacó.
“A special thank you to the beautiful country of Costa Rica and all its welcoming people for giving us all such a warm welcome. Costa Rica truly is a surfing nation of the World and we are grateful that they will be sharing their amazing waves with us all this week.
“Earlier this week, Surfing was voted by the Olympic Committee as 1 of 5 sports that will be included in the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020! Thanks to the tireless work of Fernando and the whole ISA team, Surfing is now both a part of the Pan American Games in 2019 and Olympic Games in 2020. In other words, this means that in this crowd here today, future Olympic surfers are present.”
The ceremony began with the Parade of Nations, as each National Team marched down the vibrant, energized streets of Playa Jacó waving their national flags and performing national chants in unison. The parade continued to the Opening Ceremony stage located at the contest venue where the Costa Rican National Anthem opened the festivities.
The procession proceeded with the Sands of the World Ceremony. Two members from each team took to the main stage pouring sand from their local beach into a glass container while waving their national flag, symbolizing the peaceful gathering nations of the world through Surfing. After the Sands of the World Ceremony, a traditional Costa Rican dance group showed the visiting nations a cultural dance.
ISA President, Fernando Aguerre, addressed the Nations in attendance via voice recording.
“It would have been an honor to welcome you in Jacó, but I am currently in Rio de Janeiro attending the Olympic Games. 100 years ago, the founder of modern Surfing, Duke Kahanamoku, asked for Surfing to be included in the Olympic Games. The last 22 years the ISA has been paddling into the Olympic wave, and now finally, three days ago, we are riding the Olympic wave.
“Remember that this is a historic event. The first ever ISA World Championship in the era of Olympic Surfing.”
Carolina Mauri, the Minister of Sport of Costa Rica, said:
“Welcome to Costa Rica. This year it’s an honor and a privilege for our country to receive you all here in this edition of the ISA World Surfing Games. We wish you the best, and especially that you compete following the rules of fair play and good sportsmanship.”
Fun-sized, contestable waves are expected for the competition, as Surfline, the official forecaster of the 2016 INS ISA World Surfing Games, has predicted a run of fading Southwest swell for the beginning of the contest period, to be followed by a reinforcing swell for the second half of the holding period.
The full Surfline Forecast can be found on http://isaworlds.com/wsg/2016/en/forecast/
Competition will get underway Sunday, August 7 at 8am*. The schedule is as follows:
- Sunday, August 7 – Sunday, August 14: Competition 8am – 5pm*
- Sunday, August 14: Closing Ceremony
*Local time in Costa Rica
For heat sheets for the first day of competition, click here: http://isaworlds.com/wsg/2016/pdf/INS_ISA_WSG_2016_DAY_1.pdf
Tune into the live webcast here: http://isaworlds.com/wsg/2016/en/live/
The International Surfing Association (ISA), founded in 1964, is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the World Governing Authority for Surfing. The ISA governs and defines Surfing as Shortboard, Longboard & Bodyboarding, StandUp Paddle (SUP) Racing and Surfing, Bodysurfing, Wakesurfing, and all other wave riding activities on any type of waves, and on flat water using wave riding equipment. The ISA crowned its first Men’s and Women’s World Champions in 1964. It crowned the first Big Wave World Champion in 1965; World Junior Champion in 1980; World Kneeboard Champions in 1982; World Longboard Surfing and World Bodyboard Champions in 1988; World Tandem Surfing Champions in 2006; World Masters Champions in 2007; and World StandUp Paddle (SUP, both surfing and racing) and Paddleboard Champions in 2012.
ISA membership includes the surfing National Governing Bodies of 104 countries on five continents. Its headquarters are located in La Jolla, California. It is presided over by Fernando Aguerre (Argentina), first elected President in 1994 in Rio de Janeiro. The ISA’s four Vice-Presidents are Karín Sierralta (PER), Kirsty Coventry (ZIM), Casper Steinfath (DEN) and Barbara Kendall (NZL).