(Huntington Beach, Calif.) - Team USA won the International Surfing Association (ISA) World Surfing Games team Gold Medal and the coveted third 2024 Olympic spot for women.
Photo: ISA / USA Surfing
Nineteen-year-old Kirra Pinkerton won the women’s Gold Medal, which earns a bonus spot for American women in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. This is the first time the ISA World Surfing Games has awarded an extra Olympic qualification to the countries of the winning man and woman.
“Kirra surfed with incredible aggression and power,” said USA Surfing head coach Ryan Simmons. “She held nothing back, going big and putting up big scores – a 7.33 and 6.30 to hold off Australia, France, and Peru.”
“I’m so happy. Thank you so much to everybody,” women’s Gold Medalist Kirra Pinkerton said in an emotional post heat interview. “I still can’t believe it. That’s crazy,” she said referring to winning an extra Olympic spot for her country.
Photo: ISA / USA Surfing
“To win both the team Gold Medal, women’s individual Gold Medal and extra 2024 Olympic spot for American women in our hometown of Huntington Beach, Surf City USA, made the victories even sweeter,” said coach Simmons. “I’m incredibly proud of this team, and grateful to all our fans, families and supporters.”
Team USA’s three-men-three-women team of Kolohe Andino, Nat Young, Griffin Colapinto, Zoe McDougall, Gabriela Bryan and Zoe McDougall delivered impressive performances throughout the 7-day event. Team USA’s Gabriela Bryan had the top-scoring wave of the event – a 9.0. Griffin Colapinto had one of the top scoring waves of the event for men – a 9.33.
“To secure another Olympic spot for a Team USA woman to compete in the 2024 Olympics at the world’s gnarliest wave is a massive win for our country and sport,” said Lowery. “American women are a powerful force – from Carissa Moore’s Olympic Gold Medal in 2021 to Kirra’s 2022 World Surfing Games Gold to all the up-and-coming talent pushing performances to new levels.”
The ISA World Surfing Games drew more than 150 competitors from 51 nations to Huntington Beach pier. Australia won the team Silver Medal. France won Bronze and Portugal won Copper.
“Surfing is usually viewed as an individual sport. The opportunity to surf as a team representing your country in the ISA World Surfing Games is such a special experience,” said coach Simmons. “I’m very proud of how this team came together to support one another. They showed up for each other and our country in a big way. Each one played a role in USA’s strong performances.”
Stay tuned to American Surf Magazine for coverage of the 2024 Olympics.