With the world's best surfers back in the host country of last year's Olympic Games -- and with surfing slated into the 2020 Games in Japan -- the WSL elite have taken the opportunity to celebrate the Olympic heritage in Brazil. During the early rounds, on the broadcast, some of them have been discussing the prospect of surfing in the Olympics.
While details regarding the event format, location and qualification process are still being worked out, Championship Tour surfers are optimistic about where things are heading, with accumulated knowledge being shared.
John John Florence, reigning WSL Champion and defending Oi Rio Pro winner, is on the verge of creating one of the most impressive careers in surf history, one that (he hopes) will include the opportunity to compete for his country in the Olympic Games.
"It'll be super exciting to attend the Olympics," Florence said. "It's one of the biggest sporting events of all time. Being able to attend and take in the other events, learn from those athletes, it's a great opportunity. I'd love to represent my country in 2020."
"I didn't think it would happen in my lifetime," says Jordy Smith. "I hope surfing puts its best foot forward and we can pull it off. It wouldn't be the true Olympic Games without the world's best surfers there. It has to have the best and that's what makes the Gold special."
"I don't know how it's going to be but hopefully I can represent my country," says Gabriel Medina, who became a national hero in Brazil when he won the World Title in 2014. "That would be my dream."
Meanwhile, at age 35, 3x WSL Champion Mick Fanning remains a legitimate threat to the world surfing crown. However, the world-famous surfer is eyeing a supportive role in 2020.
"I think it's great," Fanning said. "Surfing is such a global sport these days. People from all parts of the world are surfing and if they haven't got water, they're trying to find it. It's going to be awesome to watch the younger guys go for Gold medals. I'll be sitting in the armchair with pom poms cheering for Australia."