Maui News

Carissa Moore Earns Historic First Olympic Gold Medal in Women’s Surfing

July 28, 2021, 6:28 PM HST
* Updated July 30, 6:07 AM
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Olympic Gold medalist, Carissa Moore talks story with Andrew Pereira before departing for Hawaiʻi after her gold medal victory in Japan. (7.28.21) Video credit: WSL

Hawaiʻi’s own Carissa Moore can now add “gold medalist” and “olympian” to her repertoire, after making history this week as surfing made its Olympic debut in Japan.

The four-time ASP world champion, defeated South Africa’s Bianca Buitendag, facing everything from waist-high wedges to overhead typhoon surf, according to the World Surf League. Amuro Tsuzuki of Japan rounded out the top three with a bronze medal on the women’s podium.

In the men’s competition, Brazil’s Italo Ferreira took gold.  Silver went to Japan’s Kanoa Igarashi, and Australia’s Owen Wright earned bronze.

“Getting to share the sport with so many people that maybe have never even watched surfing was super special,” Moore told WSL. “As a Hawaiian, just seeing Duke Kahanamoku’s dream come true to have surfing in the Olympics is super special. It’s a big time for surfing to be recognized on this level.”

“All surfers made history here,” Ferreira told the WSL. “Every surfer has a piece of this Gold Medal. I started surfing on a cooler top when I was a kid before I got my first real board and won my first event. Because of [my upbringing] I have a lot of passion for the sport.”

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Moore, Ferreira, Igarashi, and Wright will continue to compete on the Championship Tour for the World Title, next in Mexico for the Corona Open Mexico pres. by Quiksilver from Aug. 10-19, 2021, followed by Tahiti for the Outerknown Tahiti Pro pres. by Shiseido from Aug. 24 to Sept. 3, for a chance to qualify for the Rip Curl WSL Finals in September. 

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