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  • Writer's pictureSurf Getaways

Surfing at the Olympics

Photo credit: Surfing Australia

Tokyo 2020 being celebrated in 2021 already shows us it will not be the regular Olympic games. We’ve been waiting patiently for over a year to follow this special event and although it will be a different format, the whole world is excited to watch their country representatives compete.

There’s good news for those who are passionate about surfing too, because The Olympics will see the debut of four new sports, and this year surfing is one of them. The surfing event will be held at Tsurigasaki Beach, located in the Japanese Pacific Ocean coastline. Known for having world class waves, this beach welcomes visitors and surfers from all over the world and for the first time will be hosting an event of this class.

Surfing in the Olympics

It hasn't been an easy road for the representatives of the sport, as Surfing was presented to join the Olympic games of Beijing in 2008 but was never accepted. The good news came on the 3rd of August 2016, when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed Surfing would be included in Tokyo 2020 games. From there, it has been the job of the International Surfing Association (ISA) and the World Surf League (WSL) to design the qualifications process.

After the last qualifying series a total of 40 surfers, 20 male and 20 female, were selected to travel to Tokyo. 17 nations will be represented in surfing, with a maximum of 4 team members per country. Australia have an amazing team of 4 that will be competing to bring the gold medals home.

The Australian Team

Australia’s surfing team has been named after an extremely venomous jellyfish that inhabits the waters around Australia – the Irukandji. The name was developed in close collaboration with indigenous groups and will be featured for the first time in Tokyo.

In the case of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, where only the Open surfing short board division will be hosted, Australia’s four representatives are Stephanie Gilmore, Sally Fitzgibbons, Julian Wilson and Owen Wright.

Australian Women’s representatives

We’re extremely proud of our female contestants and cannot wait to see what they are capable of in the Japanese waters. Stephanie has already proven her incredible abilities on a board after winning 7 WSL world titles between 2007 and 2018. She is a role model for the next generation and a great example of how hard work and perseverance can achieve one’s dreams.

Sally has 3 gold medals under her belt from the World Surfing Games including this June when she won the ISA World Surfing Games at El Salvador.. The first title she achieved was in 2007 when she was only 16 years old at the World Junior championship. Since then, she has made a name for herself in the industry and is known for her contagious smile and her passion for sports and fitness in general.

With this trajectory, we’re so excited to see them compete in the biggest sporting event in the world. We’ll be closely following the event and supporting our athletes in this incredible first for world surfing.


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