"Global home of surfing" under siege!
The business of international sport is… weird. I get a peanut gallery view over the various two-steps between major brands like Visa, Coca-Cola, Ford, Bailey Ladders and “governing bodies” ruling over who is, and isn’t, allowed to compete in the Olympics and, let me tell you, clunkiness is generally the vibe.
Clunkiness and a balky four-year shimmy to make good while the world’s eyes are watching.
Now, of course, core participants in our extreme world have always been rightfully dubious about the Olympics. Snowboard legend Terje Haakonsen, who famously boycotted his frozen water dance’s 1998 entry into “The Games” declaring nearly 30 years later:
I can’t believe people are still asking me why I boycotted the Olympics in ’98. Seriously? I’ve answered that question a thousand times.
I decided my opinion about the Olympics before snowboarding was sanctioned. I was asked by MTV Sports to go to the Lillehammer Games in ’94, but I already saw then what bullshit the Olympics were. I don’t regret anything.
The only person that didn’t really understand at the time was my Dad. Of course, he’s from the older generation and had been brought up to see the Olympics as the pinnacle. But for me it’s too much to swallow for one event. Even now, today, all the stuff the IOC demands – from nations, sponsors, athletes – it’s insane.
Most of the stuff is out there and is easy to find out about. Yet people still support it. Why? Because they think it’s what they need to do for money and fast fame. Even if that’s only going to happen to maybe one or two guys every fourth year. And let’s not forget: they stole snowboarding from us.
“They” being skiing.
Which, as it so happens, enters our surfing chat once again.
A hot rumor is suggesting former World Surf League CEO Sophie Goldschmidt, who didn’t get ruthlessly fired for… shenanigans… in Brazil but left her post very quickly is looking to snag the “governing body of surfing” role and slot it amongst her ski and snowboard holdings.
As you should know, Goldschmidt is the “dynamic, global leader with broad and deep proven experience in sports, entertainment, media and technology” currently leading US Ski and Snowboard.
The “snowboard” portion of that hated and hated and hated by core folk.
Like surfing being ruled by SUP.
Some historical backdrop, in any case. U.S. Surfing lost its Olympic charter a handful of months back, all being reverted to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) which does not want it and is looking to hand off.
Goldschmidt, whispers declare, has her hand up wanting to take it. What’s more, she is, allegedly, trying to sort a way where the World Surf League will not be involved in the qualification process whatsoever. As it now happens, the top two World Surf League Championship Tour surfers from each country get an Olympic bid as long as they pretend to surf in International Surfing Association events.
Surfing, in its perpetual puppy dog posture of needing attention, has no Terjes and will likely lap up whatever but how do you feel about ski and snowboard ruling surfing too?
Better than the cursed “global home of surfing?”
Certainly more questions than answers.
Unless you have some of the latter.