(Pismo Beach, Calif.) -- Team USA’s para surf team won an unprecedented third world title in the International Surfing Association’s (ISA) World Para Surfing Championship in Pismo Beach, Calif.
On the strength of medals won by six American women and one man, Team USA edged out a field of more than 25 countries to win team Gold. Sarah Bettencourt (Prone 1) and Liv Stone (Stand 1) won their third Gold Medals, Katherine Beattie (Prone 1) won Silver, Barbie Pacheco and Alison Eakin won Bronze Medals in Visually Impaired 1 and 2, respectively. Faith Lennox (Stand 1) and Christiaan “Otter” Bailey (Prone 1) won Copper. See team roster with hometowns and a link to athlete bios below.
A record 181 of the top para surf athletes from around the globe competed for team and individual medals in multiple adaptive surf categories. Team France won team Silver, Team Spain won Bronze, and Team Brazil Copper.
Three-time Gold Medalist Liv Stone, of Oceanside dedicated her win to "all the other women that showed up at this event. It’s a record number of women. It’s incredible and I’m stoked to get more and more up-and-coming women in the sport of adaptive surfing," Stone said.
Stormy conditions churned up 4- to -5 foot chunky waves and strong winds, making the final heats extra challenging.
Team USA Co-Captain and Gold Medalist Sarah Bettencourt said she couldn’t be more proud of Team USA, and applauded her teammate Katherine Beattie for winning Silver after taking a buzzer beater wave that threatened to bump her from the top spot. “The conditions were tough. We battled, and we fought and we all did our best,” Bettencourt said. “I hope the world saw that these were challenging conditions yet we still surfed it. We rocked it! We went one and two.”
USA Surfing CEO Brandon Lowery said the team’s back-to-back Gold Medals and performances demonstrate why para surfing deserves to make its debut in the 2028 Paralympic Games in LA. “Team USA’s stunning run of success and exciting performances will shine bright on the world’s largest para sporting stage. I’m blown away by the athleticism, skill and courage on display in this event. The competition was intense, suspenseful and the stoke for our sport was next level.”
Training to compete at such an elite level against the world’s best requires high-performance resources and support, including coaching, training, nutrition, physical therapy, customized equipment, travel and accommodations. Your tax-deductible donation would give our para surfers the resources they need to continue their reign: https://www.usasurfing.org/para-surf-team.html
See full team roster and results below:
Para Surf Stand 1
Liv Stone, Oceanside, Calif. - Gold
Faith Lennox, Maui, Hawaii - Copper
Para Surf Stand 2
Forrest Weinberg, Long Beach, Calif. – semi final finish
Dana Cummings, Atascadero, Calif.
Para Surf Stand 3
Ty Duckett, Los Angeles, Calif.
Para Surf Kneel
Aaron Loy, San Diego, Calif.
Michelle Eastman, Orange County, Calif.
Para Surf Sit
Alana Nichols, Reno, Nev. - Injured
Chris Oberle, Kings Beach, Calif.
Para Surf Prone 1
Sarah Bettencourt, San Diego, Calif. - Gold
Katherine Beattie, Los Angeles, Calif. - Silver
Christiaan "Otter" Bailey, Santa Cruz, Calif. - Copper
Para Surf Prone 2
Jose Martinez, Los Angeles, Calif.
Jesse Billauer, Palisades, Calif.
Quinn Waitley, Coronado, Calif.
Para Surf Visually Impaired 1
Barbie Pacheco, Valley Mills, Texas - Bronze
Joshua Loya, Santa Cruz, Calif.
Para Surf Visually Impaired 2
Alison Eakin, Ojai, Calif. – Bronze
See the team’s bios to learn more about these outstanding athletes and representatives of our country: https://www.usasurfing.org/para-surf-team.html
*Scroll to the individual headshots and click on their pictures for bios.
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