In an obvious effort to make itself more appealing to young folks and assorted riffraffery, the Olympics have added surfing and skateboarding to the 2020 Olympics schedule, to be held in Tokyo.
A wave pool concept was initially floated, but Surfline has just reported that the 40 surfers (20 men, 20 women) will take to the shores of Shidashita Beach in Chiba, Japan. Australia’s Mick Fanning has already expressed interest in coaching the Aussie team, while Tony Hawk and Shaun White have come out in support of skateboarding’s inclusion.
But not everyone in the surfing and skating community is stoked. Many skaters see what they do as a form of expression — not a sport — and there’s a petition going around to have skateboarding removed.
That sentiment is felt on the surfing side, too, but less so. That might owe to surfing's longer competitive tradition, along with its very Olympic-friendly roots: Duke Kahanamoku, the Hawaiian who pioneered surfing in the early 20th century and brought it to L.A., was also a Gold Medal swimmer in the Olympics, and long campaigned for surfing to be included in the Summer Games.
Looks like he's finally getting his wish.