Anali Gomez: she won a gold medal for Peru in the ISA World Surfing Games | Photo: Reed/ISA

Surfing has been included in the 2019 Pan American Games, to be held in Lima, the capital of Peru.

The decision marks a significant moment in the history of the sport, and puts surfing one step closer to the Olympic Games, an old dream envisioned by Fernando Aguerre, president of the International Surfing Association (ISA).

Surfing is currently in the shortlist of eight sports being considered for inclusion in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

"This is a great moment for surfing and I'd like thank our friends at PASO and Lima for their support and for providing us with the opportunity to participate in such a prestigious event as the Pan American Games," expresses Aguerre.

"It's wonderful to see surfing underlining its compatibility with a multi-sport format, where athletes can compete with pride and passion in unison with compatriots under their national flag. This adaptability is another strength that surfing can draw on as we also aim for inclusion in the Olympic Games."

History connects Peru and surfing. The "caballitos de totora" are famous watercrafts used by Peruvian fishermen in the last 3,000 years. They are believed to be the first surfboards.

Additionally, Peru has produced several surfing champions. Felipe Pomar won the gold medal at the 1965 ISA World Championships, Sofia Mulanovich conquered the Open Women's division at the 2004 ISA World Surfing Games, and Team Peru finished first at the 2011 ISA World Junior Championships.

It is one of the sport's most forgotten disciplines. The stand-up bodyboarding movement had its heyday between the late 1980s and early 1990s, but it continues to be an exquisite art.

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