San Clemente, California (July 24, 2018) – The two-year countdown to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games has begun and USA Surfing could not be more stoked for surfing to make its Olympic debut.
USA Surfing became the National Governing Body for surfing in the Olympics last year and is building a program focused on growing the sport of surfing and creating a high-performance path to the Olympic stage.
“Our goal is to have our best and be the best when we compete against the world’s best athletes at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,” said USA Surfing CEO Greg Cruse. “Our journey to Olympic greatness demands the very best planning and preparation. I’m proud of the high-performance team we’ve assembled and grateful for all the support we’ve gained. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us and we’re ready for it.”
As the youngest surfer to make the USA Surfing junior team at 11 years old, WSL pro and Olympic hopeful Courtney Conlogue knows what it is like to compete internationally. Conlogue says she can’t wait to see surfers walking in the parade of nations with the five rings on Team USA’s uniforms. “The Olympics for me is just such an amazing experience where so many sports are just respected,” Conlogue said on The Surf Channel. “I think it is just such a great thing for surfing. Whether you believe it is a lifestyle or a sport – I came into it as a lifestyle and I love it as a sport. It is such a beautiful sport to watch and I think it is important to share it on the Olympic stage.”
Water Polo gold medalist and USA Surfing alumni Kaleigh Gilchrist strives to compete in both water polo and surfing. Her dad swam at Tokyo Olympics in 1964. “It is really exciting to see my two passions come together – Olympic water polo and now Olympic surfing,” Gilchrist said on The Surf Channel, where she shared her rigorous practice regimen. Gilchrist hopes to make surfing her focus for the 2024 and 2028 Olympics.
Gilchrist and Conlogue joined fellow Olympic hopefuls and WSL pros Kolohe Andino and Griffin Colapinto in an exhibition session at Lower Trestles to celebrate surfing’s 2020 Olympic debut. All four are alumni of USA Surfing, honing their competition strategy and skills in competitions with the same experts and technology used at the most elite levels of surfing.
“Surfers in the United States are getting better and better at younger and younger ages and are inspiring scores of young athletes to the world stage and the extraordinary privilege of representing our country,” Cruse said.
USA Surfing’s junior world championship training team won gold in 2017 in Hyuga, Japan, where 306 surfers competed from a record-breaking 41 nations across all continents of the globe.
USA Surfing’s junior world championship team will defend their title this fall at Huntington Beach. The championship performances will offer a preview of surfers who could represent their countries in Olympic competition in 2024, 2028 and beyond.
Contact: Becky Fleischauer, 302-588-0671, becky (at) usasurfing (dot) org
USA Surfing is the National Governing Body for surfing in the United States, recognized by the International Surfing Association (ISA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). USA Surfing’s mission is to promote and grow the sport of surfing and support United States athletes of all backgrounds to achieve sustained competitive excellence in Olympic, Paralympic, Pan American and Parapan American competition. USA Surfing will oversee and support America’s Olympic team as surfing makes its debut in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and surfing and stand-up paddleboarding athletes compete in the 2019 Pan American Games.