Surfing Legend Kelly Slater Misses Out On Tokyo 2020 Dream

The 47-year-old eleven-time world champion missed out on the chance to qualify for next year's Games
13:51, 20 Dec 2019

Surfing legend Kelly Slater has missed out on the chance to appear at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, as surfing makes its debut at the Games.

The eleven-time world champion failed to qualify, ending the season without enough points to make the two-man US team.

Losing the semi-final against Brazil’s Itolo Ferreira at Banzai Pipeline in Hawaii, the 47-year-old missed out on a spot in Tokyo.

John John Florence, twenty years Slater’s junior, made the team with Kolohe Andino of California, despite going out in the quarter-finals.

His elimination at the last eight stage gave surfing legend Slater the chance to qualify if he won Thursday’s clash outright but he pulled up short.

“This is an absolute dream team,” said USA surfing CEO Greg Cruse. 

“Team USA not only has the best surfers in the world, they are spectacular representatives of our sport and country. Their professionalism, passion and dedication to excellence is unmatched.”


Slater turned back the hands of time earlier on Thursday, clinching a third Triple Crown title as best overall surfer, a feat he achieved in 1995 and 1998.

A veteran now, he is still supremely confident in his ability.

“Ninth place, to me, used to be a pretty awful result. I’m used to at least a quarterfinal on for most of my career,” he said in the summer. 

“I’m not horrified by my results, but I’m also not surprised. Maybe other people are because everyone focuses on my age and that kind of thing. It’s not like I’m going to all of a sudden forget how to do this thing, you know?”

Having recovered from a broken foot his last year, his aim was to complete the 2019 season, according to NBC Sports. 

However, he continued going, and it wouldn't be a surprise should he push on despite his Olympics setback.

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