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Paris Olympics: What to know, who to watch during the surfing competition

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A roadmap to follow for the surfing competition at the Paris Olympics:

Athletes to Watch

—Carissa Moore, United States: The Olympic and five-time world champion has announced she’s stepping away from top-tier competitive surfing after the Paris Games. She won the first Olympic gold medal awarded in women’s shortboard at Tokyo three years ago. The 31-year-old, Hawaii-born Moore is widely regarded as one of the greatest female surfers of all time.

—Vahine Fierro, France: The Tahiti-born surfer will be competing just 200 kilometers (125 miles) from her hometown in French Polynesia. Having won the Tahiti Pro last month on the wave — called Teahupo’o— Fierro gives host nation France hopes of clinching a medal this year.

—Filipe Toledo, Brazil: The two-time World Surf League champion qualified to participate in the Games this year but after a poor showing at a competition Toledo posted on social media that he’d be stepping back from the rest of the 2024 Championship Tour season. The good news is, Toledo’s manager confirmed to The Associated Press that the 29-year-old Brazilian surfer will participate in the Olympics.

—Jack Robinson, Australia: Winner of the 2023 World Surf League competition at Teahupo’o, Robinson is considered one of the world’s best barrel riders. This could play to his advantage as the wave is widely considered one of the world’s heaviest barrels.

Storylines to Follow

—The environment. Controversy has plagued the competition venue in the months leading up to the Games, as residents, environmentalists and even some competitors voiced concerns over the construction of a judging tower attached to the coral reef off the island’s shore.

—This is the second time surfing is on the Olympic sports program after its debut in Tokyo, where the Games and events surrounding them were muted by COVID-19 restrictions.

—Distance from Paris. The surfing competition in Tahiti breaks the record for the farthest Olympic medal competition to be staged outside of a the host city, being more than 15,715 kilometers (9,765 miles) from Paris.

Key Dates

—Paris 2024’s surfing events are expected to take place in Teahupo’o over four days in a window between July 27 and Aug. 8. The exact days of the competition are dependent upon the conditions.

Reigning Champions

Men: Italo Ferreira, Brazil.

Women: Carissa Moore, United States.


AP Summer Olympics:

By The Associated Press