Surfing is one of six sports that have been added to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. Professional surfers will look to catch their first waves on Saturday at 6 p.m. ET.
While the idea of surfing in the waters of Tokyo is a life changing opportunity, it comes with some challenges as well. The sport is dependent on wave conditions, and the waves are currently around waist-high as the Olympics begin. Many local residents verbalized their fears of a possible typhoon in the forecast, but the surfers are welcoming the big waves with open arms.
The competition will take place at Shidashita Beach, which is about 40 minutes outside of Tokyo. “Shida,” as it’s commonly called, is one of the most popular surfing destinations on the Chiba Peninsula.
There are 40 competitors (20 men, 20 women) who will go for the gold in Tokyo including four Americans: two from Southern California in Caroline Marks and Kolohe Andino, and two from Honolulu, Hawaii, in Carissa Moore and John John Florence.
Moore is a four-time ASP Women’s World Tour Champion, and Florence — a favorite to win surfing’s first gold medal — is the winner of the 2017 World Surf League Men’s Championship Tour.
Tune in to watch the surfing competition at the Olympics here.