The International Surfing Association (ISA) has today expressed its delight at the decision by Tokyo 2020 to recommend to the IOC that Surfing is included on the Sports Programme for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The IOC will now take the final decision on the sports to be added to the 2020 Programme at the 129th IOC Session in Rio in August 2016.
“Surfing has incredible and growing global appeal, particularly amongst young people, and we believe that the dynamic energy of the sport and its fan base around the world would bring many benefits for Tokyo 2020 and the Games.” – ISA President Fernando Aguerre. Photo: ISA/Gonzales
Speaking about the recommendation, ISA President, Fernando Aguerre, said:
“Tokyo 2020’s announcement today is an extraordinary moment for our sport and for the global Surfing Community. The ISA has been riding an amazing wave in this journey for Olympic inclusion and we are thrilled that Tokyo 2020 recognise the exceptional value and youthful lifestyle that Surfing can bring to the 2020 Games. We are deeply grateful to Tokyo 2020 and the IOC for providing us with this wonderful opportunity. We are immensely proud of our sport and what it would bring to the Games and we will continue to work closely with the Olympic Movement to achieve our Olympic dream.
“Surfing has incredible and growing global appeal, particularly amongst young people, and we believe that the dynamic energy of the sport and its fan base around the world would bring many benefits for Tokyo 2020 and the Games. Surfing embodies a cool, playful lifestyle that would add a completely new element to the programme, helping the Games reach new fans through live action and stunning broadcast opportunities.
“Today’s announcement gives us renewed drive and focus and we are looking forward to working closely with the IOC and Tokyo 2020 in the crucial months ahead to deliver the best possible solution to the IOC Session in Rio.”
Casper Steinfath (Denmark), ISA Vice-President, 2-time World Champion and Chairperson of the ISA Athletes’ Commission, said:
“Young, aspiring Surfers around the world are rejoicing today. This is a truly epic decision that will inspire and motivate all my fellow athletes to dream big and go for Gold in 2020. I am extremely stoked for my sport, but also for how Surfing will bring new excitement to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games if it is admitted by the IOC next year.”
Tia Blanco (USA), 2015 ISA World Surfing Games Champion, Professional Surfer and Member of the ISA Athletes’ Commission, said:
“Surfing would be an absolutely amazing addition to the Tokyo 2020 Games and I can’t wait for the opportunity to represent my country on the greatest sporting stage. The chance to Surf for Gold for my country in Tokyo would be a dream come true.”
The International Surfing Association (ISA), founded in 1964, is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the World Governing Authority for Surfing, 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) and Paddleboard Champions in 2012.
ISA membership includes the surfing National Governing Bodies of 100 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).