With surfing making its Olympic debut in 2020, Tofino offers front-row viewing of local hopefuls in training

Witnessing potential medallists ride B.C. waves is just one more reason to visit the west coast of Vancouver Island

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      For the first time ever, surfing will be a sport at the Olympics, with the 2020 Summer Games taking place in Tokyo.

      Six British Columbian surfers are vying for medals as part of Team Canada. For two of them, Tofino is their home base and current training ground.

      Seventeen-year-old Mathea Olin is a Canmore native who started competing when she was 10. She won Canada’s first international medals in surfing at the 2017 Pan Am Surf Games: gold in longboard and bronze in shortboard.

      Peter Devries, eight-time national champion, was born and raised in Tofino. (His parents met at the original Wickaninnish Inn and bought a little piece of land on Chesterman Beach for cheap in the 1970s; doesn’t it make you want to cry?) He got his first board when he was seven.

      As the two B.C. hopefuls get ready for the competition of their lives, they’re out on the water daily at Cox Bay. That’s where Pacific Sands Beach Resort is situated, and the hotel is offering front row seats to the breaks with its Stay, Play + Dine package in partnership with Wolf in the Fog restaurant.

      Available until the end of April, the package includes a choice of beachfront or ocean view accommodations, a bottle of wine on arrival, and a $100 gift card for the acclaimed dining destination plus complimentary dessert for two.

      Surf Sister has set up shop right on the property, meaning you could, theoretically, ride the same waves as Olympic athletes. (Or you could step foot in the water in a wetsuit with a board in your hands and just say you went surfing.)

      For more details about the package, surf on over to Pacific Sands Beach Resort.

      At the 2020 Games, surfers will compete on the best four days of waves during the Olympic period from July 24 to August 9. The competition takes place at Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach.