The Olympics and Surfing as an Olympic Sport
The IOC Vote to include Surfing in the Tokyo Olympics means a lot more than athletes surfing in the Olympic Competition. The flow on ramifications for our sport are huge.
For a number of countries, especially where surfing is a new sport and only in the early stages of starting and developing, surfing is very under supported and under funded from the government and national sporting federations.
As Surfing has become an Olympic Sport, this should see a far greater investment in many of these countries by the governments, companies and private enterprise and importantly the national Olympic committees. We should see more expenditure, more funding and therefore a much greater growth and development in our sport than otherwise would have been expected.
Many countries will not recognise a sport as an official sport if it is not classed as an Olympic Sport. Therefore funding, support and development are greatly restricted and greatly diminished.
Now that Surfing is an Olympic Sport, there has been movement and excitement in the Surfing Industry of the possible growth and development and therefore industry potential in our sport with the flow on effects of this decision.
Since the decision and more so in countries where there has not been government and Olympic committee recognition, support and funding there have already been examples where National Olympic Committees have pledged their support for Surfing and the respective national governing body of surfing in that country.
This should see an exciting and spurt in the growth and development of the sport, especially so in countries where it has not been a major sport or traditional sport. We could see a new era of surf athletes coming out of countries previously not commonly known to have surf or considered generally by people as having the potential to have a flourishing surf industry and surfing as a sport. There could be a growth in the European countries but also countries like India and China where there is a huge amount of coastline, fantastic waves and up until now, only known by a very small percentage of the surfing world to have amazing waves and huge potential!