Hold your breath. Cross your fingers. And wait.
This Sunday, September 27th at 8 PM PST, the President of the ISA, Fernando Aguerre, will receive a phone call from the Olympic Committee with the official decision on whether or not surfing will be included in the 2020 games in Tokyo. SURFING asked Fernando if he would be available to break the news to us first and he replied, “I can’t guarantee that I will be able to call you because I either will be overwhelmed with happiness or depression”.
Fair enough. But worry not, dear surf fans. Our fingers will be firmly planted on that pulse.
Until then, here are some random bits of information we have to quench your wonder.
If surfing is in, Hawaii will be included on Team USA…
Historically, Hawaii has been honored as a separate entity in the sport of surfing. They have their own team in ISA competitions and on the WSL, competitors from the 50th state fly a separate flag. But as far the Olympic Committee concerned, if Vermont can’t compete as it’s own country for hackie sack, then Hawaii can’t have it’s own surf team.
Which means, The USA has a chance to win…
According to the Director of Surfing America, Greg Cruse, The hypothetical United States Olympic Surf Team would consist of John John Florence, Kolohe Andino and Nat Young for the men with Carissa Moore and Courtney Conlogue for the ladies. I know your first thought — what about king Kelly? Well, as much as it appears that Slater doesn’t age, in five years time he might just lose a bit of a pep in his step which the stars and stripes will need considering…
It’s going down in a wave pool.
Ground has already been broken. The 25 million dollar project will be built in the bustling port city of Kobe, Japan and will be engineered by the same dudes who made the Wave Garden. While we at SURFING would love to see the resurrection of the Ocean Dome, Red Bull’s Unleashed event in Wales proved that the technology is there and the event will be entertaining for those with or without surfing knowledge.
Although Japan does get phenomenal surf during a typhoon swell, the Olympic committee values an even playing field. While artificial waves seem pale in comparison to their salty counterparts, clips like Electric Blue Heaven solidify the idea that exciting surfing can go down in a chlorinated domain.
And the host country?
Japan will be a tough draw. Rumors are that the Land Of The Rising Sun is recruiting Kanoa Igarashi, who just so happens to have dual citizenship. Hiroto Oohara, winner of the Vans U.S Open of Surfing, will be too fast and too furious for many contestants. Can you imagine the fleet of cars he’d buy if he won a gold medal?
One thing is for certain…
Duke Kahanamoku, the man who brought surfing to the world, would be bursting with pride to know that surfing is even in consideration for the Olympic games.
Check back in this weekend for what could be one of the biggest stories in the history of our sport. —Jake Tellkamp