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Carroll: “Put surfing in Special Olympics!”

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Venerated surf journalist has greatest idea of last decade!

You don’t get to be a venerated surf journalist by being just any dumb asshole. No. It takes work. Precision. Dedication. A lifetime of watching men in neoprene pantsuits, or virtually naked, dance upon the water.

The few who last a decade plus in this profession are uniquely qualified to weigh in on this or that. To truly call themselves “surf journalists.” I barely qualify even though I have spent the past fifteen years talking to Dane Reynolds et. al.

And I am very much put to shame by Nick Carroll, the most venerated surf journalist of all and maybe of all-time. He just weighed in on surfing’s inclusion into the Olympics, writing:

Surfing shouldn’t be in the Olympics, just in the Special Olympics.

The simplicity, beauty and truth of that one sentence is almost more than I can take. More than I could ever create. Also, an unsurprisingly, Nick Carroll is totally right.

Surfers are special. We think of ourselves as special, act special, want to be treated special, do special things. We belong in the Special Olympics.

For those unawares, the Special Olympics were founded by John F. Kennedy’s sister Eunice in 1962 in order to bring the wonders of athletic competition into the lives of the physically and intellectually disabled.

The organization has since grown into a gorgeous representation of humankind at its best. Its website reads:

Special Olympics is a global movement of people creating a new world of inclusion and community, where every single person is accepted and welcomed, regardless of ability or disability. We are helping to make the world a better, healthier and more joyful place — one athlete, one volunteer, one family member at a time.

And just think what magnificent social reverberation would occur if the International Surfing Association informed the International Olympic Committee that we surfers chose to be with our peers. That we chose to be Special Olympians.

It would be a better Olympic story than Cool Runnings! A better Olympic story than theĀ Miracle on Ice! A better Olympic story than Eddie the Eagle.

The best Olympic story of all time.

And thank you Nick Carroll.

ISA? Let’s do this thing!