Olympic surfing just not Wright for world title contender

Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:36am EDT
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By Nick Mulvenney

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian world championship contender Owen Wright believes surfing is closer to an art form than a sport and would not be a good fit at the Olympics.

Surfing was one of eight sports shortlisted for possible inclusion in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games on Monday as the Olympic movement looks to engage a younger audience.

Wright competes on the elite World Surf League Championship Tour and thinks the 11-stop circuit is a much better way to decide the best surfer in the world.

"I think surfing in itself is more of an art form and an expression so I think the Olympic banner doesn't really suit the sport of surfing," he told Reuters.

"It suits a lot of other sports but I think surfing is more like judging an art work. It's kind of hard to put it under that one banner.

"If you had one event and named the Olympic champion? I think in the world surf league we have a bunch of different canvasses, they're all totally different waves, and by the end of it you get the winner.

"I think it has to be like that, to have a bunch of different inclusions to get the one champion."

The International Surfing Association (ISA), which runs its own world championships without the top professionals, made the bid for the Tokyo Games and welcomed the sport's inclusion in the shortlist.   Continued...

Owen Wright of Australia surfs during the men's Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Billabong Rio Pro championship at Arpoador beach in Rio de Janeiro May 9, 2012. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes