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Carissa Moore, Italo Ferreira Win First-Ever Olympic Gold Medals

WSL Ben Collins

Italo Ferreira, who learned to surf on a styrofoam cooler lid in Baía Formosa, Brazil, has gone on to become the first-ever surfing Olympic gold medalist.

He was joined atop the podium by one of the greatest athletes in surf, four-time World Champion Carissa Moore, who also made history, claiming the women’s gold.

“The scale of this event felt so much bigger,” said Moore. “Getting to share the sport with so many people that maybe have never even watched surfing was super special. 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.”

Surfing’s first men’s Olympic medalists (left to right): Kanoa Igarashi, Italo Ferreira and Owen Wright. – PABLO JIMENEZ / ISA

For Ferreira, the win caps off a fairytale ascendancy as he’s gone from 2019 World Champion to Olympic gold medalist. Meanwhile, for Moore, the honor secures her place as one of the best athletes surfing has ever seen after defeating South Africa’s Bianca Buitendag in the gold medal match.

“All of my accomplishments have been important to me, but I think this Olympic Gold means the most because I was the first one,” said Ferreira. “But all surfers made history here. Every surfer has a piece of this Gold Medal.”

“This has been quite a story for me. 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.”

“I truly believe that the Olympics will change our lives. Not just the medalists, but for all the surfers that competed in this historic event.”

Surfing’s first women’s Olympic medalists (left to right): Bianca Buitendag, Carissa Moore and Amuro Tsuzuki – PABLO JIMENEZ / ISA

Moore was one of the clear favorites for a gold medal, and once again she delivered on the weight of expectation on her shoulders. Drawing clean lines and power carves in the scattered beachbreak peaks, all day long she was able to walk the fine line between competitive focus and a loose, free approach in the water.

Never one to shy away from a challenge, Ferreira broke his board on his first wave in the gold medal match, attacking a near-impossible closeout section like it was a playful one-foot wave.

This was a nightmare start, leaving Kanoa Igarashi — now a silver medalist — with the lineup to himself, and requiring yet another arduous paddle out through the relentless short-period swell.

FOR THE FULL STORY GO HERE

Carissa Moore, Italo Ferreira Earn Historic First Olympic Gold Medals in Surfing. Bianca Buitendag, Kanoa Igarashi, Amuro Tsuzuki, and Owen Wright Win Olympic Medals in Tokyo

  • The Shida Daily: Olympic Surfers Reflect on Making History in Japan

 

Credit: ISA / Sean Evans, Pablo Jimenez, Ben Reed

GOLDEN QUOTES “Getting to share the sport with so many people that maybe have never even watched surfing was super special,” said Moore. “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,” said Ferreira. “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.”

 

Tokyo 2020 Olympics Results

Women:
Gold: Carissa Moore (USA)
Silver: Bianca Buitendag (RSA)
Bronze: Amuro Tsuzuki (JPN)

Men:
Gold: Italo Ferreira (BRA)
Silver: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN)
Bronze: Owen Wright (AUS)

Now after their success in Tokyo, 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 August 10 – 19, 2021, followed by Tahiti for the Outerknown Tahiti Pro pres. by Shiseido from August 24 – September 3, for a chance to qualify for the Rip Curl WSL Finals in September.
For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

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