Official statement to surfing’s recommendation for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

by | Jul 1, 2016 | SWISS SURFING | 5 comments

We are excited to announce that the sport of surfing has been proposed to become part of the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.

In June 2015 the International Surfing Association (ISA) submitted a formal bid and it has recently been announced that surfing has made it on the shortlist for an inclusion at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. We are very excited about this promising step towards our goal of seeing our team of Swiss surfers at the Olympic games 2020.

The final decision however will be made at the 129th IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro in August 2016.

At this point we would like to thank everybody who involved in one way or the other in all the preparation work preceding the formal bid. There have been long discussions about whether surfing should be included in the Olympic movement or not. But the perspective and development of Swiss Surfers can be best supported by becoming part of the Olympic Games.

Some words from our President of the Swiss Surfing Association, Benedek Sarkany:

“In my opinion Surfing is so much growing at the time, that the inclusion in the Olympics is a comprehensible next step of this remarkable sport. As Snowboarding did this logical step it will be the same for Surfing. As soon as a sport gets mainstream it should be part of the Olympics and Surfing is mainstream no matter if you like it or not. The inclusion will not change the sport on the whole, it neither did it with Snowboarding. Every Surfer can still follow his surfer dream, regardless on his negative or positive approach towards the Olympics. What we need is more attention from the public followed by financial support. This will open more possibilities to surf especially in a landlocked country such as Switzerland. The incorporation will further help to ultimately finalize the existing riversurf and wavepool projects, which until now have had a hard time to be supported by politicians and the society. But we need these projects to reach their aim, so we can have more training places for the many Swiss surfers out there surfing. It isn`t anymore deniable that with more than 35 million surfers worldwide, Surfing is a global sport which is more widely practiced than many current Olympic sports. We will continue to support wave-making technologies and projects as a natural path towards the Olympic Games and we believe that surf pools will provide opportunities for the integration of diverse socioeconomic, ethnic, religious, and age groups long after the Games have moved on. Maybe the future winner in a wavepool at the Olympics won`t be the best of all Surfers, as constantly well surfing on different waves on the ocean is by far more difficult as demanded by the WSL. But the possibility is high that this person will feel purest stoke to have won this huge thing for his country! This stoke will spread to all the kids who will want to follow the winners steps.โ€

Inclusion into 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games is a remarkable opportunity for surfing to write a new page in its rich history book. We are absolutely thrilled to be considered for inclusion and will do everything in our power to make this possible. There is no doubt we have the talent and membership to deserve this recognition. All that is missing is the opportunity so this announcement is one step closer to achieving our long-term vision. Switzerland, even if it is landlocked, is in our eyes a great surfing nation and we are experiencing a huge development in our surf-scene. So we are very excited to now see the sport in Olympic contention for 2020. Olympic involvement will encourage more kids around the globe and hopefully also in Switzerland to get off the couch and try surfing which results in a more active, fitter and healthier Switzerland thanks to sport.

Swiss Surfing Association


  1. Meier

    I wanna be on!!!!

  2. Lukas

    Why are you guys so fan of the olympics? IOC is similar corrupt as the FIFA.
    But this is not the point. Tell me, what a olympic title in surfing means? To be honest – according to my opinion – nothing.
    As normal, each country can send 4 starters for the competition. Not 1 surfer from Europe is in the CT of WSL. So Brasil, USA and Australia have to cut down there around 8 or 9 CT WSL surfers (if they ignore the ones in the QS) to 4. That means JJF or Medina would surfing against the best Swiss, Austrian and German surfers. What a competition…and what would it mean, if one of the Swiss, Austrian or German surfers would win? I’m just wondering…?

    • Jonas Weilenmann

      Dear Lukas,
      Thank you very much for your comment and your interest in Swiss Surfing. The answers to your questions why we’re interested and why it is so incredibly important for a landlocked country to be part of this can be found in the statement of our president. The qualification process for the Olympics is not defined yet and it is to early to answer such questions. We will be happy to answer any further questions.
      Regards – SSA

    • Sven


      It simply means that you are the Olympic Champion of Surfing…

      What do you mean by not 1 surfer from Europe is on the CT? How about Jeremy Flores – I always thought France is part of Europe ๐Ÿ˜‰

      And now imagine a German or Swiss wins the Olympics – such as Leonardo Fioravanti from Italy for example who has kicked Slater out of each WCT comp they competed against eachother – what does that mean for Leonardo – probably A LOT ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Mitch Buvoli

    It is probably true that the Olympic Games are more a business rather than anything else.
    But it is also true that thanks to it more and more people are following the sport.
    When we talk about sports, any sport, we should know that sport has become a social and economic phenomenon of primary importance, resulting in the absolute the best tool to educate, train, promote integration and solidarity, able to drive carefully younger and refer to maturity.

    Investing in sport is investing in education, health and youth and society culture.

    Sport is part of the heritage of every man and woman, and nothing will ever compensate his absence.

    Best Regards


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