VICTORIA (June 7, 2019) – Surf Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee have announced Canada’s first-ever surfing team nominated to compete at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games.
The seven surfers qualified for Team Canada based on results from the 2018 ISA World Surfing Games or the 2018 PASA Pan American Surfing Games, as determined by the 2019 Pan American Games Qualification Protocol.
Canadian surfing is currently experiencing an all-time high, with incredibly strong showings at recent international events, including the Pan Am Surfing Games in December. The team picked up a sixth-place finish, just behind surfing powerhouse Team USA, at the same venue that will host the competition at Lima 2019.
“By developing a culture of excellence, Canadian surfing has come a long way in the past 30 years,” said Dom Domic, Executive Director of Surf Canada. “By building on those previous successes we are incredibly excited to further showcase the very best of Canadian surfing to the world.”
Surf Canada’s momentum began at the 2017 Pan Am Surf Games, also at the legendary Punta Rocas site, when Mathea Olin won Canada’s first ever international surfing medals (gold in women’s longboard and bronze in shortboard). Team Canada plans to ride this wave all the way to the podium at Lima 2019, Tokyo 2020 and beyond.
“As someone born and raised surfing in Canada, I’m proud to be nominated to this team,” said 16-year-old surfer Mathea Olin of Tofino, B.C. “It would mean the world to represent my Canadian roots at the Olympics and show the world what it truly means to be a Canadian surfer.”
Surfing at Lima 2019 has a direct impact on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games qualification, with the winners of the men’s and women’s shortboard competitions punching their tickets to Tokyo, which will mark the sport’s Olympic debut.
Surfing will take place July 29 – August 4, 2019.
Lima 2019, which will run from July 26 to August 11, will bring together approximately 6,700 athletes from 41 nations of the Americas and feature 62 disciplines in 39 sports. It will be the largest sporting event ever held in Peru.
The athletes and coaches nominated are:
Lina Augaitis – Ottawa, Ont. – SUP Race
Mike Darbyshire – North Vancouver, B.C. – SUP Race
Mathea Olin – Tofino, B.C. – Longboard
Finn Spencer – Whistler, B.C. – SUP Surf
Catherine Temple – Tofino, B.C. – SUP Surf
Cody Young – Makawao, Hawaii- Shortboard
Bethany Zelasko – Vancouver, B.C. – Shortboard
Shannon Brown – Tofino, B.C. – Head Coach
Prior to being named to Team Canada, all nominations are subject to approval by the COC’s Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by all National Sport Federations in late June 2019.
Story and Photo: Canadian Olympic Committee