With no international spectators at this year’s Olympic Games in Japan, there will be lots of online internet surfing to watch the sporting events and get results. Some sports are even being held online, with an esports demonstration event sanctioned by the IOC, called the Olympic Virtual Series (OVS). The event will involve five sports – baseball, cycling, rowing, sailing and motorsport. It will be an online mass participation event aimed to generate excitement in the build-up to the Olympics. It will take place from 13th May to 23 June 2021, and is available for viewing on the Olympic channel.
Yes, there will be actual surfing at the Olympics! For the first time, the sport of surfing will be part of the Olympics. Another new Olympic sport skateboarding was created by surfers, so it seems only right to have surfing in the Olympics too. These new sports are in line with the IOC drive to appeal to the younger generation.
Who is involved?
The Surfing competition at Tokyo 2020 will feature 20 men and 20 women. Of the 40 places available, 18 are reserved for WSL Championship Tour (CT) surfers (10 men and 8 women), with the remaining 22 places determined at the 2019 and 2020 ISA World Surfing Games, the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, and a single slot (each for men and women) for the host nation.
Where to See It
The surfing competition will take place on natural waves at Shidashita Beach, or “Shida”, 64km from Tokyo on the Chiba peninsula, and about 100km away from the Olympic Stadium. There is no set date for the competition, as the program includes a waiting period of 16 days so they can wait for adequate quality waves. Once the event starts, it will take two days to finish.
Four to five surfers will compete in heats lasting 20-25 minutes, though only one rider may ride a wave at any given time. Later rounds the surfers will go head-to-head, one-on-one. The surfers will be judged by a panel of judges, scoring each wave ride on a scale between 1 to 10. They will be judging each manoeuvre on speed, power, and flow, and the degree of difficulty of each manoeuvre will also be factored into it. Their top two scores will be used to determine the best two surfers from each heat who will continue to the next round.
It is sure to be exciting with most of the world’s top surfers attending. Make sure you tune in or surf the web to see history in the making.