Disappointment for Para Surfing not to be included in Los Angeles 2028

The International Surfing Association (ISA) has received with disappointment the news from the Los Angeles 2028 Organising Committee (LA28) that it has decided not to propose Para Surfing as a new sport for theParalympic Games.

The International Surfing Association is disappointed by the news that it will not be part of the Los Angeles 2028 Paralympic Programme. The ISA had been eagerly awaiting this decision for some time.

"We were hoping to be included in Los Angeles 2028 as a sport, not just as an exhibition. It would be a significant step for the discipline," an ISA member told Inside The Games last November in Huntington Beach, during the eighth edition of the ISA World Para Surfing Championship (WPSC), held on the Californian beaches just outside Los Angeles.

Despite this, the ISA issued a statement thanking LA28 for the consideration given to Para Surfing and the opportunity to showcase the value of the sport on the Paralympic stage.

The ISA will not give up and will continue to strive to make the sport more attractive and universal. This year, the World Para Surfing Championships will be held on the same Californian beaches of Huntington Beach from 3-9 November.

Thomas Bach (IOC) and the ISA President Fernando Aguerre at the Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach, in Chiba, on July 2021 during Tokyo 2020. GETTY IMAGES
Thomas Bach (IOC) and the ISA President Fernando Aguerre at the Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach, in Chiba, on July 2021 during Tokyo 2020. GETTY IMAGES

In the expansion and growth plan for Para Surfing, such World Championships will be key to the global development of Para Surfing with specialised training and education programmes, as well as promoting Para Surfing to a wider audience, making the dream of an official debut in Australia 2032 a reality.

Indeed, the ISA's goal remains the same: to continue working with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to advocate for the inclusion of Para Surfing at the 2032 Paralympic Games in Brisbane.

ISA President Fernando Aguerre said: "Of course we are disappointed by this news, but as surfers when we miss a wave we turn around and paddle for the next one with the same strength, and we will now do the same in the hope that Para Surfing will be included in Brisbane in 2032."

"Para surfers are incredible athletes, full of hope and resilience in the face of life's challenges. We are inspired by their love for this sport and we reaffirm our commitment to them and to this sport," said the Argentine, who has been at the helm of International Surfing since 1994.

He knows very well that the road will be long, but with effort, the goal can be reached, as it has been for surfing, which will be part of Paris 2024 (specifically in Tahiti, French Polynesia) and will make its second Olympic appearance (debut at Tokyo 2020).

"Just as we did with Olympic Surfing, we will continue to defend and promote Para Surfing as deserving of a place on the highest sporting stage: the Paralympic Games," confirmed the ISA President.