Le Surf fait partie de la shortlist pour les Jeux Olympiques 2020 !

Un aperçu de la piscine olymique pour la discipline du surf.
Un aperçu de la piscine olympique pour la discipline du surf. Photo : Weber Wave Pools

Grosse nouvelle ce weekend : Le Comité d’Organisation des Jeux Olympiques de Tokyo (2020) a fait l’annonce des propositions de sports additionnels pour les JO d’été … et le surf fait partie de la sélection !

« We are pleased that surfing has been recommended for inclusion in the 2020 Games by the Tokyo Olympic Organizers, » said Kieren Perrow, Commissioner of the World Surf League, the sport’s governing body. « Surfing’s international growth over the past few years, its loyal and enthusiastic fans combined with its globally recognized athletes makes it an ideal sport to showcase on the Olympic stage. We’re excited to show billions of Olympic viewers the athleticism and artistry of these world-class surfers. »

Ce n’est pas la première fois que le International Surf Association (ISA) entreprend le processus avec le support du World Surfing League (WSL). La demande avait été soumise en 2011 pour les JO de 2020. Cependant, à cette époque le surf n’avait pas été retenu. Principalement en raison des lacunes technologiques entourant la création de vagues artificielles. Puisque l’idée est d’avoir une piscine olympique capable de créer des vagues constantes sur demande. Depuis 2011, plusieurs technologies ont émergées et se sont concrétisées dans ce secteur. L’ouverture du Surf Snowdonia au début de l’année 2015 en est la preuve. Ce Wavegarden aux Pays de Galles est en mesure de créer des vagues d’excellentes qualités. On y a même tenu quelques compétitions. Le manque de technologie, n’est donc plus un « showstopper » aux yeux du comité d’organisation.

Fernando Aguerre, le président du ISA, se bat sans relâche depuis une dizaine d’années pour que le surf soit une discipline aux Olympiques. Il aurait même fait des démarches de financement pour développer les technologies nécessaires au « olympic wave pool ». On peut dire mission « presque » accomplie, en espérant que le tout se concrétise pour 2020. On devrait officiellement le savoir en août 2016, lors de la prochaine session du comité qui aura lieu à Rio.

Suite à l’annonce, plusieurs personnalités de l’industrie du surf ont donné leur opinion sur le sujet. Gabriel Medina, Kelly Slater et Taylor Knox semblent être en faveur de cette nouvelle discipline olympique, par contre plusieurs autres tel que Sean Doherty (Rédacteur SURFER mag), Damien Hobgood (Ancien compétiteur du WCT) et Matt Warshaw (Historien pour SURFER mag) n’étaient pas très chaud à l’idée d’intégrer le surf aux JO.

*Tiré d’un article publié sur le site web Surfermag.com 

Should surfing be an Olympic sport?

Taylor Knox, Veteran World Tour Surfer:
Surfing should be an Olympic Sport for sure. We surf against the best surfers from countries around the world on the ASP. It would be unreal competing alongside Kelly Slater against friends like Mick Fanning, while representing the U.S.A. Now more then ever there are many countries with talented surfers. Signs point to continuing in this direction. It would be hard to have the event when the hosting city is land locked, but with the way technology is going it seems we will be able to bring world class waves and surfing anywhere.

Sean Doherty, SURFER Senior Writer:
No, no and err…no. Olympic sports are all anchored around fairness and level playing fields, but the ocean doesn’t offer that. The only way surfing would ever be considered an Olympic sport is if it was held in wave pools, and if it was held in wave pools then I wouldn’t consider it surfing. The fact that no two waves are ever the same is what makes surfing, surfing. It’s not designed to be fair. The ocean isn’t fair, and unless you’re Kelly the ocean really doesn’t give a shit about you.

Fernando Aguerre, ISA President:
If surfing were to be included in the Olympics, I don’t think it would change the sport at all. Look at snowboarding for a future view of what surfing could look like if it were a part of the Olympics. I don’t believe surfing needs to change anything to become part of the Games. I believe it’s just a matter of time until it happens. We’re very close. The Duke asked for surfing’s inclusion in the Olympics as early as 1920, but the biggest drawback is the fact that waves don’t exist in many of the Games’ host cities. Hence, manmade waves will be needed. The IOC wants to see solid world-class waves, so surfing’s future in the Olympic Games could be assured. I believe this technology will be available at a reasonable cost in the very near future.

Matt Warshaw, SURFER Historian:
Thought I was done being pissed off over the 100-year mainstreaming of this wonderful sport. Thought I was old enough, and far away enough from Orange County, to not much care. But the thought of surfing in the Olympics brings a familiar dab of bile to my throat. Can we just all agree to pretend, for a little while longer, that surfing is a unique thing to do? That this difference has in fact always been it’s strength?

Gabriel Medina, World Champ:
Yes, I think surfing should be included, and I would absolutely love to surf in the Olympics. It would be such a great honor to represent my country. Plus, it would be a sick competition with the Brazilians teaming together against the other counties. And of course we would win. Haha! Hopefully it will happen.

Dave Prodan, ASP International Media Manager:
Personally, I’m a big fan of the Olympics and enjoy any activity that pits nations against one another in friendly competition. However, I am torn on whether or not surfing is an appropriate fit for it. I absolutely think the athleticism performed by surfers qualifies it as a worthy activity, but the lack of a static playing field would be a challenge to hosting a worthy event in some nations and a virtual impossibility in others.

Damien Hobgood, Veteran World Tour Surfer:
This may sound like a selfish or a bad thing, but I’ve never really been that into seeing surfing in the Olympics. I love the Olympics, but for some reason seeing surfing as part of that hasn’t ever really been something that I’ve felt very strongly about. I’m sure that there are a lot of kids out there who dream about surfing in the Olympics, and I think that’s great, but it’s not something I’m particularly passionate about. I love the idea of representing my country, but I feel like I do that anyway right now.

Voici un aperçu d’une piscine olympique créé par Weber Wave Pools :