Olympics to add surf and skate

Courtesy of Shutterstock | Surfer is about to ride some waves at Lacanau, France, which is a candidate for surfing events at the 2024 Olympics.

Although the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have been postponed, many fans look forward to the addition of surfboarding and skateboarding.

In 2016, the International Olympic Committee released a press statement adding five sports to the Olympic program: the return of softball and baseball, surfboarding, skateboarding, karate and sports climbing.

In the press release, Thomas Bach, IOC president, said, “The five sports are an innovative combination of established and emerging, youth-focused events that are popular in Japan and will add to the legacy of the Tokyo Games.”

California Baptist University is home to students engulfed in skate and surf culture. Many students spend their free time surfing at the beach or skateboarding around campus; however, skate and surf at the Olympic level are completely different.

Surfing and skateboarding on the professional level are judged by a point system, and depending on the type of competition they are both scored on the average after multiple rounds of competition.

Michael Duggan, senior film major, and John Cottrell, junior mechanical engineering major, said they are both passionate about skateboarding and surfing. Duggan grew up surfing in Hawaii, whereas Cottrell grew up surfing in Huntington Beach­­, California. After coming to CBU, they both started skateboarding and finding a community.

“I’m really excited that skating and surfing are at the Olympics,” Duggan said. “I think they are both very hard to master and also a blast to be a part of. So, getting to see that on a global scale will be awesome. I would say skating should have been added to the Olympics a bit ago.”

Duggan also mentioned that this is not necessarily the case with surfing.

“Surfing, however, is a different story, because the Olympics move locations every four years, so you can’t guarantee that they will take place with an ocean near by.” 

Living in Huntington Beach, Cottrell spectates the US Open every year. He believes that it is unlike surfers to wait for an Olympic platform since surfing is an individual sport. Unlike the US Open, surfers will be competing in a team for their country on the Olympic stage with two men and two women per team.

“I think America will be a force to be reckoned with when the Olympics come around,” Cottrell said. “The USA team consists of Caroline Marks, Kolohe Andino, Carissa Moore, and John John Florence. Two of them are world title winners: Kolohe is the winningest surfing in the USA, and Caroline marks are the youngest surfer on tour, and she is amazing.”

Duggan and Cottrell agree that the United States will face some tough competition in both surfing and skateboarding specifically with Brazil. The excitement surrounding the newest additions will have to wait, as COVID-19 caused the Tokyo Olympics to be postponed until summer 2021.

Leave a Reply