Surfing’s international governing bodies including, but not limited to, the World Surf League and the International Surfing Association are still recoiling from yesterday’s news that the Russian Dwarf Athletic Association has weighed in on an upcoming fight, calling it “unethical” and “a laughing show.”
The bout would pit 3’4 eighteen-year-old Hasbulla Magomedov against 3’5 seventeen-year-old Abdu Rozik.
Russian Dwarf Athletic Association chief Uliana Podpalnaya, breaking with traditional silence, released a damning statement declaring, “There’s nothing serious about this, this isn’t sport. This is unethical, wrong, from my point of view. It seems to be that only on the one hand it can be correct and beautiful – if martial arts among small people are made a Paralympic sport. It could be Judo, Karate, and people will understand that this is a serious sport, serious performances, and not some kind of laughing show. Events like this don’t draw attention to the sport of little people. If interest in this appears, it’s only business a lot of money is being invested in it. And from the point of view of the sports career growth of these guys, there are no prospects.”
Surfing’s bosses, well aware of both the general small to medium stature of professional surfers and the fact that many consider surfing, as a sport, to be unethical and wrong, are said to be extremely worried that the sentiment will cross from the fight game to the surf one and professional surfing, itself, will become a target of protest ahead of its Olympic debut.
Hasbulla Magomedov, in the meantime, has become a hero to surf journalists everywhere.
The World Surfing Games, in sensational El Salvador will enter its fourth day of competition with all eyes on Russia to see how the drama will unfold.
The World Surf League’s Jeep Surf Ranch Pro presented by Barefoot Wine is just over two weeks away.
Much hand ringing especially as Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch does no favors with regard to the optics of height.
And is also considered unethical and wrong.
More as the story develops.