Other Sport

Olympic surfing just not Wright

2015-06-24 08:07
Surfing (File)

Sydney - Australian world championship contender Owen Wright believes surfing is closer to an art form than a sport and would not be a good fit at the Olympics.

Surfing was one of eight sports shortlisted for possible inclusion in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games on Monday as the Olympic movement looks to engage a younger audience.

Wright competes on the elite World Surf League Championship Tour and thinks the 11-stop circuit is a much better way to decide the best surfer in the world.

"I think surfing in itself is more of an art form and an expression so I think the Olympic banner doesn't really suit the sport of surfing," he told Reuters.

"It suits a lot of other sports but I think surfing is more like judging an art work. It's kind of hard to put it under that one banner.

"If you had one event and named the Olympic champion? I think in the world surf league we have a bunch of different canvasses, they're all totally different waves, and by the end of it you get the winner.

"I think it has to be like that, to have a bunch of different inclusions to get the one champion."

The International Surfing Association (ISA), which runs its own world championships without the top professionals, made the bid for the Tokyo Games and welcomed the sport's inclusion in the shortlist.

The body, which is recognised by the International Olympic Committee, is putting great faith in the rapid growth of surf parks, which guarantee artificial waves at competition time.

"We are energised and excited to present our case," ISA said in a statement.

"With the new, cost-effective surf parks that are revolutionising our sport, we are confident that this is the perfect time for surfing to step up to the greatest sporting stage."

Wright fired his challenge for a maiden world title last week in the very real three-metre waves off the coast of Fiji when he became the first surfer to record perfect scores in two heats in the same event.

That gave him victory in the fifth leg of the tour and put him into third place in the title race ahead of former world champions such as compatriot Mick Fanning and Kelly Slater.

American Slater, who has won 11 world titles, has previously questioned the purpose of putting surfing in the Olympics and Wright said he thought most top surfers would agree.

"There's a lot of people that want to see it go that way but I think if you ask the surfer, I think you'll get a similar answer," he added. (Additional reporting by James Regan, editing by Peter Rutherford)

Read more on:    olympics 2020  |  surfing

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

How excited are you about the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.