Surfing’s grand Olympic debut is now, officially, one for the record books what with the Tokyo Olympics turning out the lights after two-weeks of heady excitement. The man responsible for getting our favorite pastime into the Games, International Surfing Association chief Fernando Aguerre, was drunk, as we all were, on the hope, the promise, the glory of global acceptance but now comes the hangover.
In a lightly depressing interview to the Associated Press, Aguerre reveals oh what might have been as “an eight-day Olympic Surfing Festival was supposed to ‘revolutionize the Olympic experience” because “it was designed to be an initiation to both the beloved niche sport and its famous laid-back lifestyle.”
And we all know that the surfing lifestyle is as essential to the overall experience as the surfing itself. Cocaine (buy here), talking to strangers about solutions to very challenging problems in beach-adjacent bars at surf movie premiers, riots when inland hordes invade with flat brimmed caps driven crazy by suggestive messages written on underaged bodies etc.
Alas what might have been.
“It was a view of the lifestyle and the culture of surfing,” Aguerre told the AP, “So there was yoga, there was environmentalism, classes on how to be environmentally sound as a person. It was a surf initiation. For me, it’s very sad because this was a very, very new idea. This is not something that happens at Olympic events.”
Yoga, environmentalism and classes on how to be environmentally sound as a person?