Surfing’s Olympic Debut: Tokyo 2020

April 28th, 2021

In August of 2016, history was made. Surfing was confirmed as a sport on the program for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games for the first time ever.

After more than two decades of lobbying by the ISA, the youthful, high performance values of surfing will get their chance to shine on the world’s great sporting stage. 

Surfing entered Tokyo 2020 as one of five additional sports — Surfing, Skateboarding, Baseball/Softball, Karate, and Sport Climbing — that were added to the program with the goal of bringing more vibrant, youthful sports to the Games.

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Shidashita Beach will be the venue of the Tokyo 2020 Surfing competition. Photo: The Surf News

Venue and dates

The competition window runs from July 25 – August 1. Tsurigasaki beach, east of the Tokyo city center, will be the venue. 

The competitors

20 men and 20 women will compete in the surfing competition at Tokyo 2020, vying for the Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medals.

The athletes participating will have qualified through one of the four pathways: 2019 World Surf League Championship Tour, 2021 ISA World Surfing Games, 2019 ISA World Surfing Games, or 2019 Lima Pan Am Games. 

To learn more about the competition, visit the Surfing page on Tokyo 2020’s site. 

“This is a game-changing moment for Surfing. We are already seeing increased popularity of the sport across the world and the Olympic Games will provide an incredible platform to further showcase Surfing and its core values. With its unique and modern blend of sport performance, style and youth culture, Surfing will help deliver something special to the Games.

“We are especially stoked for the athletes who now have their own dream to shoot for – to compete for their countries on the greatest sporting stage. We can’t wait to see the world’s best going head to head on the waves in Tokyo and millions of Surfing fans reveling in the competition and the fantastic festival atmosphere of the beach party.”

– ISA President Fernando Aguerre


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