What are you looking forward to most in 2020? Trump’s re-election? Legally Blonde 3? Or could it be surfing’s first-ever appearance in the Olympic Games?
If you answered ‘fuck me, all those things sound unbearable—please kill me,’ you’re not alone. Thankfully there’s still time to make surfing at least a little bit interesting as it battles badminton for most pointless sport at the Games. How? Well, by fucking off the usual qualification requirements and throwing a few wildcards into those God-awful opening ceremony kimonos for a start. The following is a list of surfers who I believe could make the games of the (insert indecipherable sequence of Roman numerals here) Olympiad the most memorable surfing event ever. And if you’re pissed off because Dane hasn’t actually qualified for Tokyo and you feel click baited, know this: I regret nothing.
- Zoltan Torkos
As everyone knows, the Olympics is definitely going broke (allegedly). Why else would they include dumb surfing and skateboarding if they didn’t need a quick cash-grab? Rumour has it the judges who currently score rhythmic gymnastics, equestrian and trampoline have also been employed to judge the surfing to save money, shifting the standard surf criteria from ‘speed, power, flow’ to ‘difficulty, dressage and bounciness.’ Enter Zoltan Torkos, the only surfer on Earth to successfully perform the kickflip. Yes, it does look fucking gross, and he’ll likely lose points on dressage, but there’s no denying the difficulty or bounciness. If he can land one in the final, a Rolling Stone cover with Shaun White awaits.
- Laird Hamilton
Laird Hamilton must be included for Team USA on the proviso that he compete in multiple disciplines, such as pole vault (using his stand-up paddle instead of a bendy stick), fencing (again with the paddle instead of a bendy sabre), javelin (sharpen one end of paddle and throw), table tennis (paddle as paddle), stand up kayaking, and Limbo (paddle as limbo pole). Laird could easily challenge Michael Phelps’s 23 gold medal career haul in a single games and, best of all, he could do it completely in the nudie rudey. A must-have inclusion.
- Craig Anderson
Craig Anderson has long been the antithesis of the Olympic ideal. Lithe, pretty and with barely a competitive cell in his being, he must don the jersey in Tokyo as a symbol of what the games stand for in all their marketing propaganda ie: a loving embrace of man/woman/transkind. Think of Craig as the brittle olive branch clamped in the unforgiving beak of the peace dove and his qualification transcends further debate.
- Sally Fitzgibbons
Aaaah… Sal. Our Sal. Our Golden Girl in waiting. If the Greek Gods are kind, she’ll join Our Cathy, Our Susie, Our Dawn, and Our Steve Bradbury as one of the Olympic greats. Sal certainly wants it more than anyone. A gold medal winner in middle distance running as a junior athlete, she gave up her Olympic dream to pursue the surfing World Championship—finishing runner-up three times. She’s all but qualified for the Olympic team already and needs no further push from us here. Surely destiny is on her side. Surely her moment is upon us. Surely sport won’t take a Tonya Harding Sledgehammer to her Nancy Kerrigan knees. If it does… then fuck you, sport.
- Dane Reynolds
No brainer. If he surfs out of skin, everyone wins. If he drinks beers and can’t be fucked paddling out, everyone wins. If he does an interview on the beach and talks about stuff that has nothing to do with anything, everyone wins. That’s the coolest thing about Dane in the Olympics—it’s gold medals for everyone!
6. Chippa Wilson
Look, the surf in Japan in summer is notoriously fucked, so why not put someone out there who can actually make it look exciting? Chris Chippa Wilson of Cabarita NSW could legit challenge the power of the Brazilians in this kind of dribble, and he would also make a great advocate for SPC tinned fruit. Imagine his deep-etched head bouncing around your TV, singing songs about cubed peaches and pears in various syrups! Too good.
7&8. Batman & Joker
Why the fuck not amp things up with one of surfing’s all-time rivalries? They’ve got form, these two, having surfed it out back in ’67 with some pretty sweet trim lines on the old logs. The Caped Crusader will clearly benefit from not having Ben Affleck urinating in his spandex, while the Joker (if reviews of Jaoquin Pheonix’s iteration are to be believed) he might be a dark horse for gold. KAPOWABUNGA!
- Duke Kahanamoku
Surfing’s most successful Olympian (3 gold, 1 silver, and 1 bronze at four consecutive summer Olympic games) may be long gone, but with human cloning almost upon us, there’s a slim chance the Duke could make a comeback in time for Tokyo. The man who popularised surfing around the world would no doubt shake his head in wonder at where surfing is at today, what with its surf rage and top knots and mass-manufactured Chinese surfboards and ocean strangling plastic pollution and overcrowding and wave destroying surf resort developments, etc etc etc… but hey, at least you can win a gold medal riding a wave right? On second thoughts, best leave him be.