In a unanimous decision, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted favorably on the inclusion of surfing, skateboarding, climbing, karate and baseball/softball in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Minutes after the announcement, the surfing community rejoiced and expressed their joy at the historic decision. Duke Kahanamoku's dream will become a reality soon. Surfers will battle for gold, silver, and bronze medals in the waves of Chiba, near Tokyo.
"I think it is great the Olympics has recognized surfing because it is such a global sport these days and for the people lucky enough to be competing it will be very prestigious, so I am extremely happy. In four years time I don’t think I will be at the top of my game so I would be honored to be a coach or mentor," expressed Mick Fanning.
"Well, it's about damn time. A huge thank you goes out to the people involved making this happen," stated World Surf League surfer Jordy Smith.
"One of the best days of my life! Surfing at the Olympic Games is now a reality," said big wave surfer Carlos Burle.
"I do believe that everyone that dreams of becoming an athlete, or it is one, dreams of going to the Olympic Games. This was one of my dreams, and now it is a goal. I know the 2016 Olympics hasn't started yet, but I'm already getting ready for 2020," revealed Adriano de Souza.
"Today is a day that will be remembered in history. Surfing will be in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Congratulations to Fernando Aguerre for all the hard work. Thank you my friend!" said Leonardo Fioravanti.
"When people see surfing at the Olympic Games it is going to blow their minds. Whether it is in a wave pool or the ocean is irrelevant, the athleticism, the mindset and the ability to perform under pressure is what makes surfing so unique and I think the worldwide audience will appreciate how we can turn a wave into our own beautiful canvas," noted Layne Beachley, chair at Surfing Australia, and seven-time world champion.
"I'm interested to see how things pan out. It will be a positive boost to the sport in some ways," added big wave surfer Andrew Cotton.
"Duke Kahanamoku's dream is realized. Surfing makes the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. A wave of goodwill across the world. Congrats to Fernando Aguerre, ISA, and WSL," concluded Shaun Tomson, former world champion.