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Everything You Need to Know About Surfing in the 2024 Olympics

Updated: Apr 19

For the past three years, athletes and fans from around the world have been looking forward to the 2024 Summer Olympics.

These upcoming games are wildly exciting for a number of reasons, from new sports being added to the global pandemic that postponed the 2020 Olympics no longer being a massive worry.

For surfers, this will only be the second time the sport will be a part of the games, and we’re absolutely stoked to tune in. 

Surfing’s Olympic Debut 

The 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics were pushed back a year to 2021 because of COVID-19.

This devastating time was extremely tough for athletes who had been training for the games their entire lives, just to be told they’d have to wait another 12 months; for many, this also meant that they’d have to qualify all over again.

On a lighter note though, these Olympics also made history in the surf world, since it was the first time ever the sport was included in the games.

Team USA consisted of three men and three women: Kolohe Andino (San Clemente, CA), John John Florence (Honolulu, HI), Kelly Slater (Cocoa Beach, FL), Caroline Marks (Boca Raton, FL), Carissa Moore (Honolulu, HI) and Lakey Peterson (Santa Barbara, CA).

All six of these surfers had crushed it on the World Tour years before, and were selected based on their determination, success, and of course, their one-in-a-million abilities in the water.

The team surfed at a beach called Tsurigasaki, which is located in Ichinomiya, Japan along the mid-eastern shoreline. 

At the 2020 games, there was only one event for both genders present to partake in: men’s shortboard and women’s shortboard.

Unfortunately, none of the men on the U.S. team medaled; Italo Ferreira (Brazil) took home gold, Kanoa Igarashi (Japan) won silver, and Owen Wright (Australia) placed third.

However, Carissa Moore who grew up on Oahu won the women’s event – the first female to ever win a gold medal surfing in the Olympics.

Moore was followed by Bianca Buitendag (South Africa), and Amuro Tsuzuki (Japan). 

The sport was unsurprisingly such a success for viewership and will be returning this summer for a second time. 

The 2024 Olympic Surfing Venue: Tahiti

Unlike the 2020 Olympics, surfing this year will not take place in the host country. Instead, athletes will be on the opposite side of the world, in Tahiti and will surf the infamous French Polynesian break, Teahupo'o.

This is where Billabong has held their pro event for the past 25 years, largely due to the fact that the destination has never disappointed forecast wise.

The shallow coral reef along the ocean floor here creates perfect cylinders unlike anywhere else on earth – even if there aren’t surfers out in the lineup, the ocean itself is insane to watch. 

Meet Team USA Competing at the 2024 Olympics

U.S. surfers make the small but mighty Olympic squad by performing consistently well on the WSL tour in the years leading up to the games.

Below is a mini breakdown of the 2024 team, aka the nation’s current top surfers!

Caroline Marks

Returning Olympian

Born: Boca Raton, FL

Age: 22 (2002)

Sponsors: Red Bull, Oakley, Roxy

Recent WSL Achievement: 2023 WSL Champion

Carissa Moore

Returning Olympian

Born: Honolulu, HI

Age: 31 (1992)

Sponsors: Nike, Red Bull, Hurley, Gillette Venus

Recent WSL Achievement: 2023 Billabong Pro Pipeline Champion

Caity Simmers

New Olympian

Born: Oceanside, CA

Age: 18 (2005)

Sponsors: Red Bull, O’Neill, Sun Bum, Nixon

Recent WSL Achievement: 2023 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Champion

Griffin Colapinto

New Olympian

Born: San Clemente, CA

Age: 25 (1998)

Sponsors: Quicksilver, Red Bull, Oakley

Recent WSL Achievement: 2023 Surf Ranch Pro Champion

John John Florence

Returning Olympian

Born: Honolulu, HI

Age: 31 (1992)

Sponsors: Machu Picchu Energy, Nixon, Dakine, Clif Bar, Yeti, Pyzel Surfboards

Recent WSL Achievement: 2023 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach (3rd)

Mark Your Calendar for the 2024 Summer Olympics

The team will travel to Tahiti come the end of July, and the competition is scheduled to take place from July 27-August 5.

There will still only be one category, shortboard, split up into men and women, and when exactly the heats take place will be somewhat of a gametime decision based on forecast.

So be sure you have access to the games during this week if you want to watch the best of the best!


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