Surfing at the Olympics: what to expect and what to expect in Tokyo

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[surfer music playing] “Surfing, once the sport of Hawaii’s kings and queens.” Surfing has come a long way from its ancient Polynesian roots. Yet the concept is still the same. Surfers soar towards the ocean in search of the perfect ride. In 2020, surfing was to receive one of the highest sporting accolades, a place at the Olympics for the very first time. “So the biggest sporting event in the world has been postponed.” [interposing voices] “The Japanese Prime Minister has just announced a plan to delay the Summer Olympics.” This is New York Times reporter Bedel Saget. “Should I empty this stack here?” “No…” He recently spoke to eight of the best surfers, who have all qualified for the Olympics and are currently scattered around the world. “OKAY.” “Hello.” “Hi, Caroline. “Hey, Ítalo.” “Should I start?” ” “Yes Yes.” “My name is John Florence.” “I am Owen Wright.” “I am Sally Fitzgibbons.” For many, the introduction of surfing to the Olympics will be brand new, with plenty to watch out for. “Olympic surfing is going to be new. So what do you think makes surfing unique? For starters, surfing is unlike any other sport. “I think surfing looks and feels different from a lot of other sports.” TV Announcer: “We have a full rotation. “And I think skating or tennis or football -” “All of that, you have the field or you have the court, and it’s ready.” “- you can see all the things on your front.” But that’s not the case in surfing. “In surfing, you have an essentially constantly changing playground.” “We are not given a map on exactly how to surf. “” It’s so difficult to win. And it’s so hard for things to go your way. “And that’s the challenge. You never know until you go. Here’s how surfing will perform at the Olympics next year. At the most basic level, there are three types of surf maneuvers. There are antennas. TV host: “Find out, go to the air. “TV announcer:” It’s a full turn and a half. “So when you leave the face of the wave.” “And when you have a lot of speed -” “The speed to fly.” “Yeah, you’re literally in the air. “And then you’re going to land on the wave again.” TV host: “He’s eyeing a section. Huge straight air from Gabriel Medina. “It’s good to fly sometimes. Turns. TV host: “Medina laughs at the lip. “And that’s where your board sits on the face of the wave.” And then you just have to draw the lines and all the spray will escape from your board. “And then …” And then barrels. “Which is like the holy grail.” “You are right in this water tunnel.” “You’re like oh my god, here’s that one.” “This is kind of where time slows down.” “And then everything becomes …” [blowing] [blowing] “That kind of sound.” “It spits and it turns all white and cloudy.” “It’s like quick, like boom.” “It’s always amazing every time you do it. The Olympic surfing debut will take place in Chiba on Tsurigasaki Beach, 40 kilometers southeast of Tokyo. “Let’s talk about Chiba, the Olympic site. “The conditions in Chiba, I feel like they are the ultimate leveler.” “Chiba is a difficult wave to ride. Unlike the waves on the north shore of Oahu, or at Jeffreys Bay, South Africa, the waves at Chiba are known to be smaller. “You will see a lot of really technical surfing. “Lots of action.” “Probably a bit of spinning, a bit of gymnastics on the water I think.” “And the best surfer for that -” TV Host: “John John goes for the giant ally and sticks it out.” “- it’s me.” TV Announcer: “He says, ‘What more do you want? I’ll go show you more. “Antennas are difficult maneuvers for the most part, especially in smaller, less powerful waves. But for Brazilians, it’s second nature. “I always tell my friends, in Brazil, the first movement you learn is air.” “A lot of people think the Brazilians will have an advantage surfing Chiba.” Yeah maybe. TV Announcer: “Will there be an opportunity here? Full rotation! Brazilian or not, when a surfer lands an antenna it can be an amazing feat and a great reward.” The score is included. between 1 and 10 points. Here is Gabriel Medina performing a backflip for the first time in competition. TV host: “See his take off. Go for the backflip spin and take it off.” You could call it a 10. “He got a Perfect 10. Judges use three criteria to rate each athlete’s performance Judge: “Nice reading of the wave overall. Some tough sections.” Based on the scores you will be judged by … “” Speed, power and flow. ”“ Speed, power and flow. ”“ Speed, power and flow. ”“ Yes, what does this mean to you? ”“ I need to get speed, flow and power all at the same time time. ”Speed, power and flow are crucial for every racing competition. surfing. “This is the ultimate recipe.” “That’s what we all want to achieve. And if we meet all of these requirements… ”“ And if you meet all three… ”You are bound to score big points. At the end of the day, you can ride as many waves as you want within the time limit. “But it really comes down to your two best rides.” “The two best waves on your score line. “And so you have to paddle strategically.” “There will be people who will go to the left, people who will go to the right. “” Waves captured left, right and center. This is a lot to watch out for. And surfing, like any other sport, has its fair share of healthy competition. TV Host: “Interesting conversation here.” “What’s going on on the water? Mind games going on? Psychological warfare? This can sometimes be a very tactical game. TV Host: “Strider, do you see these two guys fighting in the back? It’s intense. “You can almost feel it breathing down John John’s neck.” “You definitely have those times when certain competitors have their tactics.” “Do you say hello before your heat?” Do you shake their hands? “I never cross my eyes with anyone.” TV Host: “Well, there we are. And then there are the paddle battles. TV Host: “Shoulder to shoulder, they clap their hands as I speak.” »A race towards the real starting line of the surf where the waves break. “The paddle battle is the ultimate fun.” “Ah, the paddle battle. I hate it. ”“ I don’t like paddle battle. ”TV host:“ Let’s see if we can have a paddle battle here. ”The first surfer back to the start line wins. And the prize? They have priority – the ability to pick the next wave in. Most of the time being tall is not an advantage in the water, but in a paddle battle your size and wingspan can make all the difference. “Some have the ultimate wingspan.” Take a guy like Owen Wright, for example. TV Host: “It’s a good paddle fight – look at the size of Owen’s arms.” “My wingspan is 6’7 , so – “TV Host:” Owen Wright is four inches taller than Michael Phelps. “” The guy is like taller than me. “TV Announcer:” Those are good things boys. ‘love.” “So who’s going to win the gold?” “Well, I would love to win the gold.” “I definitely dream of a gold medal.” “Oh, Australia of course. Are you kidding you guys? But here’s the thing about surfing. Ultimately, the ocean doesn’t care about detention times, priorities, or nationalities. And the fans know it. There are never any guarantees. But that’s what makes it so exciting. If the waves don’t cooperate, this is someone’s Olympic dream. So, for the Olympic surfing debut in 2020, suspended until 2021, may the best surfer get the best waves. [cheering]


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