With surfing getting the nod for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, there has been a lot of talk about SUP and it’s path to becoming an Olympic sport. The Olympic process is long and full of politics, however, with surfing’s inclusion, SUP is one step closer to Olympic gold.
These are exciting times for our fast growing sport and Friday’s news just made things even more interesting.
SUP is included on the shortlist of the 22 events to be included in the 2017 World Beach Games in San Diego.
The news comes as San Diego was chosen Friday as the host city for the inaugural ANOC World Beach Games. With San Diego’s inclusion comes their planning committee’s recommendation for events to be included in the Games. SUP is one of the recommended events but still must be officially voted in by the Olympic and San Diego planning committees sometime next year.
With consideration for beach events like e-sports (video gaming), beach badminton and flying disc (frisbee), I like to think that SUP has a good chance for making the final cut.
Officially, the games are called the ANOC World Beach Games. The Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) voted on Friday to back the bid of San Diego for the 2017 host city.
The ANOC World Beach Games come at a time when the Olympic movement is struggling to gain the attention of younger viewers. There is a reason youth sports like surfing and skateboarding will likely be included in the 2020 Tokyo Games.
“The ANOC World Beach Games will be something new and exciting that people have not seen before. It will help National Olympic Committee’s to reconnect with a whole generation of young people and deliver a positive and lasting legacy for the Olympic movement.” said ANOC president Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah.
The decision for the games to be hosted in San Diego is a further boost to the U.S. Olympic Committee’s attempt to become more involved in Olympic activities and comes as another Californian city, Los Angeles, bids to host the 2024 Summer Olympic Games.
Perhaps a 2024 LA Olympics will see SUP racing in Doheny or off of the Santa Monica Pier?
San Diego has an array of options when it comes to SUP racing venues and formats. The San Diego World Beach Games website lists the Mission Beach area as the primary location for events. Mission Beach offers typical California beach break conditions that would help display exciting surf racing action. The options are limitless with the ability to also access one of the largest man-made bays in the world, Mission Bay, directly behind the beach.
As president of the Stand Up Paddle Athletes Association, and resident of San Diego, I will be sure to let the San Diego planning committee know the desires of SUP athletes around the world.
Would you like to see SUP included in the 2017 World Beach Games?
It is our mission to grow the sport of SUP in an organized, safe and fun manner. The World Beach Games seem to offer a great opportunity to show the world SUP racing at it’s best.
I look forward to hearing your feedback and continuing our mission to grow the sport during these exciting times.