Surfing is set to make its Olympic Debut, and what better time to celebrate Team USA than this weekend, as the United States celebrates the birth of a nation. Here are six facts about the surfers set to represent the red, white and blue on sport's biggest stage once the games go ahead -- sadly, they have been postponed due to the Covid pandemic.
The Full Span Of The Nation
The United States is a big place with many different surf zones, each with their own personality and charms. But thankfully, even though only four athletes can represent each nation at the Games, the USA surfing team spans the entire breadth of the 50 states. We've got Caroline Marks representing Florida, Kolohe Andino from California, and then two athletes who reside in birthplace of surfing itself, with Carissa Moore and John John Florence of Hawaii. That's a range of approximately 4,700 miles!
They Have Beach Break Prowess
The reality is, it's unlikely Shidashita Beach in Chiba -- the Olympic surfing venue -- will be throwing up anything but playful beachbreaks. But that's fine, since team USA is more than at home in fun-size waves. Case in point, have you ever seen Kolohe milking small T-Street? He can grovel with the best of them. And Caroline is from Melbourne Beach, Florida -- meaning that much like that other famous surfing Floridian, Kelly Slater, she grew up in little, windy waves. But don't think that just because the other two are surfers from Hawaii that they can only rip in big reef breaks -- John John has Ehukai Beach Park, and Carissa has spent plenty of time practicing at Sandy's Beach, on Oahu.
Mathematically, Team USA Has A Great Shot
In fact, base on combined results from the 2019 Championship Tour, Team USA has the highest average team points 49,960. That compares to Brasil's average team points of 45,731 and Australia's average team points of 41,264.
It's Not Their First Time Competing In Japan
Of the four-member USA Olympic Team, Andino, Moore, and Marks competed in the 2019 World Surfing Games in Miyazaki, Japan. Team USA came runner up to Brasil in the games, with a total of 3,415 points. Andino took home the silver medal for the men's division and Carissa Moore took home a 4th place finish.
John John Qualified Despite Sitting Out Much Of The Year
John John Florence had such a solid start to 2019 (he won Bells and Margaret River, and bagged a third-place on the Gold Coast) that he was able to secure one of only two men's Olympic spots despite sitting out every other event of the year until the Billabong Pipe Masters in December.
USA Women's Dominance on the 2019 Championship Tour
The 2019 World Title race came down to three American surfers: Moore, Marks, and Lakey Peterson. Both Moore and Marks qualified for the Olympics at the final stop of the tour: the lululemon Maui Pro, Maui, Hawaii. By the looks of last seasons results, Team USA's women will be hard to beat.