Rio de Janeiro: Brazil's surfing confederation (CBS) has launched a campaign to include the sport as a demonstration event at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

The initiative aims to lobby the International Olympic Committee (IOC) by mobilizing support through social media and a website featuring an online petition.

"We have significant international support and, with political willpower, things can happen," campaign leader Romeu Andreatta said.

The International Surfing Association (ISA) has been pushing for the sport's inclusion in the Olympics since the 2000 Games in Sydney.

A major argument in surfing's favour is the sport's estimated 20 million participants spanning more than 100 countries.

According to IOC rules, an Olympic sport must have competitors in at least 70 countries and four continents.

Surfing was nominated as a possible medal sport at the Rio Games but was eclipsed in a 2009 vote by golf and rugby.