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Surfing Debut At Summer Olympics Resurfaces Issues Over Native Hawaiian Cultural Appropriation

Surfer Carissa Moore, of the United States, leaves after a practice session a...

Credit: AP Photo / David Goldman

Above: Surfer Carissa Moore, of the United States, leaves after a practice session at Tsurigasaki beach at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in Ichinomiya, Japan, July 21, 2021.

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As fans of surfing prepare for the sport's debut in the Olympic Summer Games, issues over how the sport has been appropriated from its Native Hawaiian origins have resurfaced.

Aired: July 21, 2021 | Transcript

For the first time, surfing is on the Olympic stage.

On Friday, the ocean sport beloved by many San Diegans will be underway as the newest event at the Summer Games in Tokyo.

While fans are rejoicing, some are raising concerns that what was originally a Native Hawaiian cultural practice has been co-opted into a multi-billion dollar industry.

Brigham Young University Hawaii professor Isaiah Helekunihi Walker joined Midday Edition on Wednesday with more on surfing's inclusion in the Olympics.

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