The International Surfing Association (ISA) has today welcomed a high-level delegation from the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, as Surfing’s Olympic debut moves closer.
Following Surfing’s historic inclusion on the Tokyo 2020 Sports Programme in 2016, plans have been progressing on a unique Surfing Beach Festival venue plan and, upon invitation of the ISA, the Tokyo 2020 delegation travelled to California to experience a top Surfing event and continue discussions on how to best maximize the sport’s Olympic debut.
Among the delegation are:
Tokyo 2020 Sports Director Koji Murofushi, Deputy Executive Director of Sports Takeshi Hashizume, and Surfing Sports Manager Kimifumi Imoto. Also joining the group is Atsushi Sakai, President of the Nippon Surfing Association, and Pierre Fratter-Bardy, Head of Olympic Games Strategy and Development at the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
During their trip the delegation will join ISA President Fernando Aguerre at the Vans US Open in Huntington Beach, meet with athletes and the wider Surfing community and work with the ISA team on progressing plans for 2020.
Welcoming the group, President Fernando Aguerre said:
“This is a very exciting moment in the history of Surfing, and I am excited to welcome my friends from Tokyo 2020 to California, my home and the home of Surfing. We have been on a long journey and today we move one step closer to our Olympic debut.
“We will be working with the Tokyo 2020 team over the coming days to ensure we create the very best conditions for Surfing to thrive in two years’ time. Our Surfing Beach Festival promises to be a special platform to show both our elite athlete’s talents and our sport’s vibrant culture. I am positive that, together, we can bring to the Olympics a new dynamic youth appeal and leaving a lasting legacy for Japan, the Games and our sport.”
Tokyo 2020 Sports Director Koji Murofushi said:
“I am honored to be invited by the International Surfing Association to the US Open and I deeply appreciate their kind offer. Surfing is one of the five additional sports for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 that was proposed by the Organising Committee and approved by the IOC in 2016. It will be a symbolic sport of the Tokyo 2020 Games that will inspire younger generations.
“Attending the US Open in California will give us the opportunity to learn how to stage major competitions, and we would like to reflect the knowledge we acquire there in our preparations to provide the best possible atmosphere for the athletes from all over the world at the Tokyo 2020 Games. The US Open successfully blends sporting and surfing cultures, and we’ll be able to learn a wide range of operational tips. We believe this will help us host a successful surfing festival at the Tokyo 2020 Games, where spectators will be able to experience surfing culture as well as enjoy the competition.”
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).