Surfing Tokyo 2020

Photo from Patagonia

Surfing is coming to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics! By unanimous vote, all 90 members of the IOC voted include Surfing along with of the IOC voted include Surfing along with Skateboarding, Baseball, Karate, and Climbing (IOC). With three years remaining until the event, the IOC is working tirelessly to organize this newly included sport so that the event will go smoothly. 

This being the first time that surfing is being included, there are still many issues that are being solved. A major issue that is being discussed between the IOC and the Japanese government is the cost of building the temporary venues for the Olympics. According to the estimates, Japan Today states that it will cost “some 2.75 billion yen for the surfing venue of Tsurigasaki Beach in Chiba Prefecture, 40 miles southeast of Tokyo.” (Cost). Amidst this uncertainty, The Tokyo Tsurigasaki Beach, located at the southern end of the Kujukuri (literally ‘endless’) Beach in Chiba prefecture, stretches about 60 km along Japan’s Pacific coast. It is a popular surfing beach offering great waves all year around. A number of international and national surfing competitions have been held there” (Olympic) It is pretty safe to say that the cost and place have been decided and from here it will be a smooth process.

Since this is the first time surfing has been included in the Olympics, the rules had to be created. According to an article on the Tokyo 2020 website, “In the sport of surfing, the winner is the surfer who scores the most points by riding waves. A panel of judges scores a surfer’s ride by analyzing the degree of difficulty, the level of innovation, the level of difficulty and the variety of maneuvers performed on each ride. Each surfer’s two highest scores in a time-limited heat are totaled for his/her final score to determine the winner” (Tokyo). “To earn a high score, a combination of maneuvers with flow and grace, and speed and power are necessary. In particular, progressive wave-riding and rides with a high degree of difficulty are likely to be scored highly” (Olympic). The surfers are given a limited time in the ocean to catch the best wave they can and the best two are counted. Each wave the competitors catch is scored out ten and the two best ones are added to give them a total score of twenty.

Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori says, “The inclusion of the package of new sports will afford young athletes the chance of a lifetime to realise their dreams of competing in the Olympic Games – the world’s greatest sporting stage – and inspire them to achieve their best, both in sport and in life” (IOC). With three years to go till the 2020 Olympics, we can see that both the IOC and the Japanese government are working hard to make sure that this new inclusion in the Olympics will run smoothly as well as making sure that this event will be held at low costs for the enjoyment of the participants and the spectators.