It’s official. Surfing is going to be a part of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Through numerous votes and debates, the details are starting to come together and the place has been named. Not only will surfing making its Olympic debut change the face of the Summer Games, but it also ups the ante for Canadian surfers in the years building up to the event. It even means another surf competition is coming to the shores of our beaches, including Ucluelet BC’s very own Wickaninnish Beach!
As far as the Games go, there will be forty competitors from around the world, including some of the top surfers in the circuit. The twenty men and twenty women will be selected from a variety of surf competitions including the WSL Championship Tour, the 2019 Pan-Am World Games and the ISA World Games for 2019 and 2020. Two slots are reserved for the host country, Japan. For the debut, only short boarding will be included, and only two surfers of each gender are allowed to represent their country, which creates more diversification of nationalities competing in the line-up. The selected location is no stranger to the surfing world, and has hosted a number of QS events for WSL in the past. Tsurigasaki Beach is just outside of Tokyo and has a decade’s worth of information on weather and waves, which gave the committee a great outlook on how the surf will look during the Summer Olympics when making their decision. Only two days of good surf is required to complete the event. The small surf town is gearing up for its position as an Olympic Venue.
For Canadian surfers, the Olympic Surfing event offers more opportunity for up-and-coming young surfers to work towards and compete in, as well as for established surfers to show off the faces of Canadian surfing. Our usual competitions now hold a greater edge, as they will be crucial for Surf Canada to select members for the national team. Those who make the team will compete in the ISA and Pan-Am World Games, giving them the opportunity to represent Team Canada in the Olympics and for a shot at the podium. Not only will there be the Rip Curl Pro at Cox Bay in Tofino BC again this May 11-13, but an added competition will help Surf Canada identify young talent and select their team. The Surf Canada Nationals will return, this time to the shores of Wickaninnish Beach on May 4-7, 2018. Surfing is one of the top things to do on the West Coast of Canada, and there’s no doubt plenty of talent is going to make their appearance for a shot at gold and the Olympic podium.
Contributed by: Laurissa Cebryk