Can Surfing Become An Olympic Sport?

Surfing In The Olympics?

The president of the International Surfing Association, Fernando Aguerre says a number of the hurdles to his sport's inclusion in the Olympic program have been felled in the last few years. Aguerre has a passion for the sport he has led since 1994, saying he surfs every morning outside his southern California home "before I brush my teeth."

He believes his sport is as close to an Olympic berth as it has ever been and said attending the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing was about convincing IOC members of the feasibility of adding surfing to the Olympic program. "A lot of the IOC members, I need to bring it to them to show them what it is that we can do and what we can do for the Olympic Movement," said Aguerre, the co-founder of sandal maker Reef.

"Just like snowboard brought a complete new demographic and dynamic to the Winter Games, I'm very confident that surfing could do the same for the Summer Games. We are one of those ultimate youth sports." Technology has brought the dream closer to reality as advances in artificial wave machine technology have made the sport more accessible.

Though the machines have been around awhile, Aguerre did not approach the IOC with the technology until about three years ago, saying he wanted something that replicated "the real deal" before making a formal plea to the committee. "This is something that replicates nature without the limitations of nature," said Aguerre, adding that advances have brought down costs and allowed the machines to be placed in multi-purpose pools.

The ISA president says he has a much better handle on the international sporting community than he did when he attended his first event, the IF Forum in 2007. He compared it to "the first day in a new school when you don't know anybody."