The 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo — or Chiba, if you’re a surfer — are still 18 months away,but already the drumbeat for the 2024 Paris Games has begun. The group Paris 2024, which is behind the planning and development of the Games, has submitted a petition to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to include the sports of surfing, skateboarding, sport climbing and breakdancing in the Paris Games (that’s right, Olympic breakin’).
Surfing, skateboarding and climbing are considered “provisional” sports in the 2020 Games. Inclusion in the 2024 Games would bring the three sports into a situation where they’re looking at more long-term inclusion in the Olympics.
“Today is another amazing milestone in surfing’s Olympic wave,” ISA President Fernando Aguerre said in a prepared statement. “We are excited and humbled that Paris 2024 has included surfing on its list of proposed sports for the 2024 Olympic Games. This announcement takes us one step closer towards our goal of long-term Olympic inclusion. France has a rich and deep tradition in our sport. Having hosted the most important events in the ISA calendar as well as a multitude of annual, top-level professional events, France is also the proud home to some of the world’s best surfers. Together with our friends and partners in the French Surfing Federation, we look forward to continuing to advocate and celebrate this incredible opportunity to showcase our sport to the world in 2024.”
In terms of the timeline for the 2024 Games, the new sports could be given provisional approval at an IOC meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, on June 24th, 2019. The sports won’t officially be confirmed until after the 2020 Tokyo Games, when the IOC Executive Board meets in December 2020.
It’s still early days for the Paris Games, but already wave pool rumors are swirling. The Terre D’eaux Project in Sevran, Paris, which is utilizing Wavegarden Cove technology, entered into the conversation more than a year ago.
“Once surfing and para-surfing are scheduled for certain for the 2024 Olympics in Paris, there is a fair chance that Terre D’eaux will apply to host these events as the Cove offers world-class waves in great numbers and Sevran is located at the very heart of the Olympic village,” project manager Baptiste Caulonque said in a 2017 interview.
Meanwhile, WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt added in a recent interview, “we’re looking at building a couple [wave pools] in Paris.”
As the fervor for the Tokyo Games continues to build, and with this latest announcement from Paris, it appears the Olympic waveriding movement is charging ever forward.