The first meeting for the organization of the South American Beach Games took place in Montevideo and Punta del Este this past weekend. The Games will be carried out from February 27th until March 8th at Montevideo and Punta del Este beaches in Uruguay.
It will be the second time an Olympic Movement Beach Games are held. The first one finished on October 27th in Bali, Indonesia where surfing had been successfully included. In fact, surfing was the favorite sport in the on-line voting at the Beach Games website.
Authorities of the Uruguayan Bureau of Tourism and Sports, the Uruguayan Olympic Committee, the South American Sports Organization (ODESUR) and different representatives of the ten sports that will be part of the Games – Beach Rugby, Beach Handball, Open Sea Swimming competitions, Beach Volley, Triathlon, Water Sky, Sailing, Soccer, Fitness and Surfing - gathered together in the Radisson Victoria Plaza Hotel at Montevideo and in Solanas at Punta del Este.
In the meeting, all the technical details for the different sports were set and Surfing had its own place side by side with some Olympic Sports. Another step in the long path of surfing’s inclusion into the Olympic Games.
Surfing will have three events: Open Men, Open Women and Aloha Cup (Tag Team). Each country will participate with four Open Men and Two Open Women surfers to have a full team. Medals will be delivered to individual men and women performances and to the Aloha Cup team. Surfers will compete as members of their National Olympic Committee delegation.
Montoya is the beach chosen for the surfing event. It has a left pointbreak, a right pointbreak and a consistent beachbreak between the two points.
The following will be the fifteen countries that invitated to participate in the Games: Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, Netherlands Antilles, Panama, Aruba and Uruguay. Ten of these countries have a national federation recognized by the International Surfing Association, thus these ten countries are expected to compete in surfing, for a total of 60 athletes.
Fernando Aguerre, the ISA President, said about the presence of Surfing in this important event: “The presence of the ISA official representatives in the ODESUR Beach Games, along ISA vice president Karin Sierralta and PASA vice president Juca de Barros proves the interest we all have in turning surfing into an Olympic sport. The ISA has just finished successfully the organization of the surf competitions in the Asian Beach Games in Bali. The collaboration of the ISA, recognized by the IOC, and PASA, recognized by the ISA, and USU (Uruguay Surfing Union), a member of the ISA, will help us have a great event in the excellent waves of Punta del Este.”
In the next days, the ISA will be dealing with the details for surfing to have again a great event inside the Olympic Movement.