Surfing: flying into the Olympic Games | Photo: Kirstin/WSL

Surfing has been confirmed in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, in Japan. What do surfers and industry professionals have to say?

More than two decades after kicking off the Olympic campaign, and losing five bids, surfing made the cut. Surfing is one step closer of becoming an Olympic sport, with 40 male and female wave riders battling for medals in the waves.

Let's hear what the protagonists have to say about the Tokyo 2020 announcement:

Fernando Aguerre, president of the International Surfing Association (ISA)

"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.

Kieren Perrow, Commissioner of the World Surf League (WSL)

"We are pleased that surfing has been recommended for inclusion in the 2020 Games by the Tokyo Olympic Organizers.

"Surfing's international growth over the past few years, its loyal and enthusiastic fans combined with its globally recognized athletes makes it an ideal sport to showcase on the Olympic stage. We're excited to show billions of Olympic viewers the athleticism and artistry of these world-class surfers."

Tia Blanco, 2015 ISA World Surfing Games champion

"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."

Andrew Stark, CEO at Surfing Australia

"Surfing Australia is ecstatic at the news of our confirmed nomination for Olympic inclusion at the 2020 Japan Olympic Games. Surfing's inclusion into the Olympics would be a dream come true for our sport.

We have been striving for many years to achieve Olympic Games inclusion and we certainly believe the Olympics will be better off with our sports inclusion. Australia will most certainly be a genuine Gold medal prospect and we look forward to starting the journey towards Olympic glory in 2020. This is a fantastic progression for surfing and for the Olympics."

Layne Beachley, seven-time world surfing champion

"Inclusion into 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games is a remarkable opportunity for surfing to be showcased in the international arena of sport. This reinforces the importance of Surfing Australia's High Performance Centre and our developmental pathways to ensure continued nurturing and future success of our athletes."

Mick Fanning, pro surfer and three-time world surfing champion

"It is probably the most watched sporting event in the world. It would be a huge honour to go and represent your country at such a prestigious competition."

Kelly Gibson, SIMA President

"Thanks to the tireless work of the ISA and their President, Fernando Aguerre, surfing is now one very large step closer to being included in the Olympic Games. We look forward to the day when our surf athletes will be on a global stage with the other world class Olympians!"


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