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Biarritz

Oct 12, 2018

Are the Olympics Headed for Biarritz?

News from Biarritz: In 2024, Paris will host the Summer Olympics, but the French capital city is not suitable for all sports, surfing on the Seine just isn’t an option.

WRITTEN BY

The Outdoor Journal

Olympic surfing might be headed for the historic surfing capital of Europe. We have been aware of rumors for a long time, but now it’s official. Last week the local authority in Landes confirmed that there would be a joint application between Biarritz, Capbreton, Hossegor and Seignosse to host the Olympic surfing events in 2024.

In press release, the local government said “The Department of Landes, the community of communes MACS, Hossegor, Capbreton, Seignosse and Biarritz join together to present a joint application, within the historic heart of surf, to host the surfing events of the Paris Olympics 2024. This candidature offers the most beautiful playground in Europe with 30 kilometers of beaches, 15 world-famous spots, a 100% natural environment backed by indisputable know-how in organizing major world events.”


However, there is competition, Sevran (a wave pool) and the Girondins of Lacanau near Bordeaux are both applying too. Additionally, this is not the biggest challenge to the Biarritz and Landes bid, it remains to be seen whether surfing is included as an Olympic sport at all in 2024. Whilst the sport will feature in Tokyo in 2020, the stamp of approval has not yet been given to surfing for 2024. To be certain, we need to wait until the Olympic bodies reflect upon the 2020 games, we will however be given a big clue when the specifications are released by the Olympic organisers in the summer of 2019.

Stay tuned…

Cover photo: Josu Orbe

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Athletes & Explorers

Dec 05, 2018

Stephanie Gilmore’s 7th WSL World Title and a Wave of Attention that is Bigger than the Men’s

Three months after announcing equal pay for men and women, the World Surf League celebrates Stephanie Gilmore’s 7th World Title.

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WRITTEN BY

Brooke Hess

On September 5th, 2018, the World Surf League announced plans for equal pay in men and women’s surf competitions in the 2019 season. This announcement was a huge step forward, not only for women’s surfing, but for women’s sport in general. The WSL had set the standard for equal pay in athletics.

Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) the WINNER of the 2018 Corona Open J-Bay at Supertubes, Jeffreys Bay, South Africa. Gilmore now wears the Jeep Leader Jersey after beating Lakey Peterson (USA) in the Final and takes over the Yellow Jersey from Peterson (USA). Photo: World Surf League.

This past year, the WSL had received negative feedback after a photo went viral of the Billabong Ballito Pro Junior Series male champion being paid twice as much as the female champion. Most social media users were upset with the pay disparity at the event, commenting on the photo as “blatant inequality” and “archaic discrimination”. However, some social media users argued in favor of the unequal payout. They argued that men’s athletics are viewed in the media more than women’s athletics, therefore bringing in more revenue, and justifying the pay disparity. A social media user commented on the Billabong Junior Series surf photo saying, “Surfing, like most sports is a predominantly male sport. More people watch the men’s surfing, more men surf than women.”

THE CHICKEN OR THE EGG?

Many people would ask, do more people watch men’s surfing because it is actually more interesting? Or, do more people watch men’s surfing because that is what the media has always streamed, and thus, audiences are more accustomed to watching the men’s style as opposed to the women’s? Valeria Perasso at BBC News puts it well, “audiences will not get excited about women’s sport as it gets minimal exposure in the media, and the media would justify the lack of coverage by saying that female athletics do not generate enough audience engagement.” The same is true with other sports as well. Managing Director of the Women on Boards advocacy group, Fiona Hathorn, says, “Had our culture been used to seeing women rather than men playing rugby or football for generations, we would find the idea of men playing sports rather novel.”

NO LONGER A RELEVANT QUESTION?

If you head over to Google, use their News Search and type in “WSL Surf World Championship”, “2018 Surfing World Championship”, “Surf World Title WSL”, or anything along those lines, an article on Stephanie Gilmore and her 7th world title will be the first article to pop up. Every time. This means, not only are women now starting to get the pay they rightly deserve, but they are starting to get the media attention that goes along with it.

It was just last week, that Stephanie Gilmore won her 7th world championship title, proving to the world that women’s surfing deserves just as much attention, respect, and prize money as men’s surfing. She is now tied with Layne Beachley for the women’s world record of most surfing world titles.

With all this being said about the inequality between women’s and men’s athletics, the second half of 2018 has been a major year for progression of equality in women’s surfing. Women are now getting paid the same as men, and with Gilmore’s 7th world title win, she is also getting the same media attention as the men.

Hats off to Sophie Goldschmidt, the World Surf League’s new (and first female) CEO for pushing for equality!

Cover Photo: World Surf League

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