Surfing could get spot in Olympics
DIMITY Stoyle is chasing a world championship but in the not too distant future surfers like her could be chasing Olympic gold.
Construction of two inland surfing centres in the United Kingdom has the international surfing community predicting an expansion of the sport and possible inclusion in the Olympics.
According to a report by The Guardian, there is also interest in wave parks for Australia, Hawaii, Morocco, Portugal, Russia and China.
Stoyle, 22, said she was "really excited" about the prospect of one day surfing wave parks.
She said wave parks would allow the sport to expand in regions where the population did not have access to good surf.
"I think it would open it up to a lot more people around the world and it would probably help the current situation in Queensland where surfing is getting so popular it's a little bit out of control," she said.
She said surfing could be an Olympic sport in any host city if it were held in wave parks.
Surf coach Robbie Sherwell said surfing had been a spectator sport at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
He said wave parks could work well at the competitive level because the man-made waves meant surfers would have equal opportunity.
Stoyle acknowledged the waves would be more predictable than open water surfing, but said that a world title series and rankings would still be the sport's pinnacle.