RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (Wednesday, August 3, 2016) – Today, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) formally included surfing as a gold medal sport in the Sports Programme for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games.
“Congratulations to ISA President, Fernando Aguerre, and the ISA on their successful bid to have the sport included in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,” said Paul Speaker, CEO of the World Surf League (WSL), the globally recognized home of professional surfing. “This is a huge moment for professional surfing and further highlights surfing’s rise as a global participatory and spectator sport. As home to the world’s best surfing, the WSL looks forward to working with the ISA to ensure that the sport is showcased in the best possible manner and with the world’s best athletes. It is awesome that our incredible athletes will have the opportunity to showcase their talents and skills to the global Olympic audience and compete for their countries.”
Kieren Perrow, Commissioner of the World Surf League added: “The WSL has worked tirelessly to provide all of its surfers with opportunities to develop as professional athletes and to expand global participation in the sport of surfing. We’re excited by the IOC’s decision and look forward to what it means for the future of professional surfing.”
“For the sport, being accepted onto the Olympic stage is a great step forward. Surfing continues to grow and seeing it reach the Olympic level is really exciting,” said John John Florence, current WSL #2. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity of representing our country if I’m fortunate enough to make the U.S. team.”
The World Surf League represents more than 2,000 professional male and female surfers including the most elite surfers on the WSL Championship Tour and hosts 170+ global competitions each year.