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Wavepools = Surfing In Olympics

Author: Transworld Surf

As you might know by now, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recently made its decision to select eight sports on a "short list" for possible inclusion in the 2020 Olympics. One of them may be fortunate to make the final cut in 2013. Surfing was in the core group of 12 sports the IOC had been studying, but it was not selected for the short list. The IOC determined that a high-quality, man-made wave pool with world-class waves has not yet been developed.

Although the IOC is attracted to the high performance athleticism of surfers, the universality of the sport, the youthful audience and the supporting industry, the IOC wanted to be 100% confident that an Olympic Surfing event can take place wherever they hold the Games.

I was disappointed, but I understood their reasoning. It had been my hope these past 3 years that by now we would have a man-made, perfect, 2-3 meter high, 100 meter long wave. If not for the deep global recession, I am convinced we would have had that wave, and Surfing would have made this short list. In other words, it's an issue of timing.

In the years since my brother Santiago and I sold Reef, I have dedicated plenty of time, personal resources and passion to developing the ISA, securing its long term operation, and lobbying on behalf of Surfing with leaders in the Olympic Movement. During that time, we have gained a lot of respect, and people in the Olympic World are saying that Surfing has what it takes to become an Olympic Sport.

I am as optimistic today as I was when we all met last summer in Laguna and at my home in La Jolla. We created Friends of Olympic Surfing to give you an avenue to support the Olympic Surfing dream.the Duke's dream.and yours and my dream, too. I am 100% dedicated to working on behalf of Olympic Surfing, and I need your continued guidance and support now more than ever.

Following the recent advice of senior executives in the Olympic Movement, I am now focused on the 2024 Games. (See timeline in this newsletter.) The ISA has renewed its agreement with Olympic Movement consultant, Robert Fasulo, to continue to work with the ISA on strategies and tactics, and building key relationships within the IOC.

The IOC will begin working on their next short list in 2013 for the 2024 Olympics, which means Surfing has two years to convince the IOC that an Olympic Surfing Champion could be crowned wherever the Summer Olympics may be held. I will work closer with private entities that are developing man-made waves to assure something is in the works by this deadline. The ISA will also get more involved in regional multi-sport games such as the South American Beach Games, the Pacific Games, Pan Am Games and the new European Games, which are all important in the eyes of the IOC.

I will work as hard as ever on making this dream come true - although with a better understanding of the needs of the IOC, and with a lot more support within the Olympic Movement than Surfing has ever had before.

As you know, I don't have any financial gain in the ISA and Friends of Olympic Surfing. I do what I do because I love it, and believe it is in the best interest of surfers and the sport you and I love. I believe in youth and the difference they can make in the world simply by playing and performing in our Mother Ocean. Just look at what surfers have accomplished in the past ten years with ocean environmental and humanitarian causes. It's amazing.

Surfing will be in the Olympics, I am certain of that and I'm full of energy and passion for the task.

Thank you for your commitment and ongoing support.

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