NewsJohn John Florence

Congratulations to the WSL's First Class of Olympic Hopefuls

History was made in the 2019 WSL season. Through the Championship Tour, 18 surfers from seven different countries provisionally qualified for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo. Now that the season has officially ended, here's a complete breakdown of who's potentially headed to Japan.

MAUI, UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 1: Carissa Moore of Hawaii is presented with a congratulatory momento for her provisional 2020 Olympic qualification at the 2019 Lululemon Maui Pro at Honolua Bay on December 1, 2019 in Maui, United States.  (Photo by Cait M Carissa Moore WSL / Cait Miers

WOMEN

  • Hawaii's Carissa Moore provisionally qualified in the same year that she secured a fourth World Title, and is one of surfing's all-time greats, both in and out of the water.

  • Caroline Marks - the youngest surfer ever to qualify for the women's Championship Tour - will join her on the USA women's team. Marks honed her explosive attack in Melbourne Beach, Florida.

  • Silvana Lima has risen from humble beginnings in Paracuaru, Brazil which included learning to surf on a piece of wood, to becoming a an eight-time national champion, a two-time runner up to the World Title and now, potentially, a soon-to-be Olympian.

  • She will be joined on Team Brazil by Brazilian-born, Hawaiian-raised goofy-footer Tatiana Weston-Webb, who has been a force on the women's Championship Tour since her full-time arrival in 2015.

  • Brisa Hennessy has provisionally qualified for Costa Rica, but she is a true citizen of the world. Hennessy was raised in Costa Rica by her surf instructor parents, transplanted to Oahu's North Shore for her school years before spending chunks of her teenager summers in Fiji.

  • Johanne Defay remains an unheralded hero of the women's Championship Tour, and is known for her explosive, progressive maneuvers which could no doubt be on display in Japan.

  • On Team Australia is one of the most dominant surfers in history, Stephanie Gilmore, a seven-time World Champion. Gilmore's surfing is revered for its pure artistry - she has set a new performance benchmark for the women on the Championship Tour.

  • She will be joined by fellow Australian and competitive phenomenon Sally Fitzgibbons. As a bone fide sport nut, perhaps no other surfer was more excited about provisionally qualifying to represent her country at the 2020 Summer Olympic Games than Fitzgibbons.
OAHU, UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 19: World Title contender Italo Ferreira of Brazil wins the 2019 Billabong Pipe Masters after winning the final at Pipeline on December 19, 2019 in Oahu, United States. (Photo by Ed Sloane/WSL via Getty Images) Italo Ferreira WSL / Ed Sloane

MEN

  • Australian Owen Wright's comeback from a serious injury sustained at Pipeline, on the North Shore of Oahu is now the stuff of legend. He sat out the entire 2016 season, before returning as a competitive force and has earned a spot on the Australian Men's Olympic Team with a provisional qualification.

  • He will be joined by Julian Wilson, one of the most highly-regarded talents on the Championship Tour ever since his 2011 arrival. He secured his provisional Olympic qualification and top-ten finish on the Jeep Leaderboard with a solid performance at the Billabong Pipe Masters.

  • World No. 13 Michel Bourez will represent France at the Olympic Games. His French father and Polynesian mother raised him on the tiny island of Rurutu in the Tuamotus, and Bourez is the second Tahitian to ever qualify for the Championship Tour.

  • He will be joined by France's Jeremy Flores. Flores is the most successful European pro surfer of all time, with Championship Tour victories at some of the world's most iconic waves.

  • On Team Brazil is 2019 World Champion and one of the most exciting and explosive surfers in the business today Italo Ferreira. Italo's infectious personality and visible passion, not to mention his surf showmanship, make him of the most popular World Champions in recent times.

  • Also representing Brazil is two-time World Champion Gabriel Medina, a national hero who, since 2015, has secured more Championship Tour victories than any other competitor.

  • Championship Tour surfer Kanoa Igarashi will be representing Japan. Igarashi was born to be a pro surfer. His father Tsutomu "Tom" grew up surfing in Japan as a huge fan of the sport. When Tom and his wife Misa found out Kanoa was on the way, they moved to California with the singular goal of giving Kanoa a shot at his dad's dream

  • On Team USA is Kolohe Andino, a second-generation pro from San Clemente, California. Andino's electric brand of surfing is a potent blend of acrobatics and aggression.

  • He will be joined by John John Florence, who battled it out for the final Men's USA spot against the greatest of all time, Kelly Slater at the Billabong Pipe Masters. Florence is one of only five surfers in men's Championship Tour history to clinch his first two World Titles in back-to-back fashion.

  • Jordy Smith will represent South Africa. The powerful regular-footer from Durban is famous for speaking his mind, and is a two-time runner up to the World Title.
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