Sal, Steph, and Jordy all qualify for the Olympics

Stu Nettle picture
Stu Nettle (stunet)
Form Guide

You'll have to excuse me for not keeping abreast of the qualifying process for the Olympics, I've been scratching my head to make sense of it and figured I'd just broadcast the teams once they were announced and hope no-one asked any questions.

Yet it seems it's not gonna happen like that. Overnight, Steph Gilmore, Sally Fitzgibbon, and Jordy Smith were confirmed as the first surfing Olympians. Fifteen more will follow from the WSL.

Jordy is in because his result at the Quiksilver Pro France assures him of a Top 10 on the CT Rankings and therefore has earned his provisional place to represent South Africa and compete in Tokyo.

Gilmore and Fitzgibbons’ are in because they are guaranteed to finish as one of the top two Australian women on the WSL Rankings and have earned their provisional place to represent Australia and compete in Tokyo.

The following is a press release from Surfing Australia about Sal and Steph's qualification they may clear up the confusion:

CASUARINA/NSW(October 9th/2019):  Based on world-class performances in 2019 on the World Surf League (WSL) World Championship Tour (WCT) and competition results so far in the Roxy Pro, currently being held in Hossegor France, both Sally Fitzgibbons and Stephanie Gilmore have secured the WSL ranking requirement for qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

In May 2020, Surfing Australia will consider athletes that have satisfied the Tokyo 2020 Nomination Criteria and will submit to the Australian Olympic Committee for selection.

Both girls have secured an individual WCT event win in 2019 and have been consistent performers throughout the year, which now guarantees they finish inside the Top 8 on the WSL CT Rankings, therefore, earning provisional places to compete in Tokyo.

Surfing makes its Olympic debut in Tokyo in 2020. The 2019 WSL CT, the elite year-long tour that crowns the World Champions each season, has been an important qualification pathway for Australia’s best surfers, along with selection for ‘Team Australia’ at the 2019 and 2020 International Surfing Association (ISA) World Surfing Games.

Kim Crane, Surfing Australia’s National High Performance Director said: “Congratulations to both Sal and Steph for securing their WSL ranking requirement for Olympic nomination, at this point in the year. When the Tokyo Qualification System was released, everyone knew the greatest challenge for athletes was always going to be securing this WSL ranking. The standard of competition on the world stage, is rightly fierce now. In witnessing what it takes to compete consistently at this level over the course of an entire year, both girls are an absolute inspiration. We are so proud of what they do and even more importantly of who they are as the worlds best surfers and people.”

Bede Durbidge, Surfing Australia’s Elite Program Manager and Team Australia Head Coach said: “This is such an exciting time for both Sal and Steph. Much focus has rightly been on their individual CT campaigns this year and in doing so they have kept their Olympic dreams alive. This is a significant milestone for both girls and we acknowledge their ability to consistently deliver world-class performances. With this news and also off the back of the recent ISA World Surfing Games experience, Olympic Games excitement is building. I look forward to supporting both Sal and Steph over the next part of the journey and wish them well for the remaining couple of events on the CT in both Portugal and Hawaii.”


simba's picture
simba's picture
simba Wednesday, 9 Oct 2019 at 3:19pm

It's officially not a lifestyle anymore,it's a sport........not sure whether I should cry or not.

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups Thursday, 10 Oct 2019 at 7:08am

It's whatever you want it to be man. That's the beauty of it. Doesn't really matter what other people make of it really.

freerider.'s picture
freerider.'s picture
freerider. Monday, 14 Oct 2019 at 7:41am

like the other guy said it can be whatever you want it to be, but Id cry anyway if it's involved in the Olympics......

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Wednesday, 9 Oct 2019 at 3:24pm

So even though Sal and Steph qualified its down to SA to pick the team in the end?

derra83's picture
derra83's picture
derra83 Wednesday, 9 Oct 2019 at 3:57pm

One sentence it says they've "secured" their places, the next it's "provisional". So which is it?

Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone Wednesday, 9 Oct 2019 at 8:03pm

I suck at English and even picked up on that

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher Monday, 14 Oct 2019 at 10:32am

swellnet Congratulates first 21st century Oz [P] Surf Olympians
Surf / Life Saving Olympians will have competed in 19th,20th,21st Century Olympics
1900 + 1956 + 2020/24 +(2032 SLSA bid) All exhibitionist or provisional Olympians.

Stu rightly points out the Pro's have 'secured Official IOC Qualification'.
Regarded as 'Provisional' by SA who selects from all Qualifiers to present to AOC
AOC are Oz reps from each Olympic sport that ultimately decide 'Surf Team Australia'

Olympic Process.
Starts with Local >State > SA (Grom Ladder > Championship)

1. Oz surfers must join club & compete under SA (National Federation)
2. Oz surfers then compete for SA in ISA Games (Continentals [P] Qualified 1st)
3. SA surfers Top 8-10 WSL is priority Qualifying (See Main Story)
4. WSL [P] Qualifiers must still avail to represent SA in ISA when requested.
5. (May 2020 over 2 weeks) SA handpicks Oz [P] Qualifiers for AOC presentation.
6. SA next presents their choice of surfers before Australian Olympic Committee.
7. Doors are closed. Sponsors then approach AOC to decide ('04 Thorpedo Dive)
8. A-List Washed up o/s Pro has Timeshare in Oz & Parachutes The Team.
9. Last minute ring-in, wipes out on pool ladder to win Olympic Gold.
10.Ring-in scores Olympic contract for Superbrat Surf Academies Oz Wide.

NEWS : Lone Surf fan still swears he never saw it coming!

Note: IOC drug testing of [P] Qualifiers is still new & a good way off.
Surfers are not born Athletic drug mules and as such may trip out on drug tests!

PS: Provisional qualifies as Olympian even without attending Olympics.
(Olympic Team Australia [P] surfer has 'Officially Qualified by IOC rules')
With advent of Team injury... [P] surfer can then compete in Olympics!

ashleigh's picture
ashleigh's picture
ashleigh Thursday, 10 Oct 2019 at 10:32am

I have absolutely no interest is seeing or watching surfing in the Olympics.
And you're right to an extent Spuddups in "surfing being whatever you want it to be man", but it's what all these commercialized 'sports promoters' are trying and succeeding turning it into that's the shitty thing.

Garryh's picture
Garryh's picture
Garryh Thursday, 10 Oct 2019 at 6:19pm

Looks like there's a fairly decent chance of Australian's gaining a medal in the Womens comp. Anyone reckon there's a chance in the Mens?

greyhound's picture
greyhound's picture
greyhound Thursday, 10 Oct 2019 at 9:33pm

It just doesn’t work for me as the worlds best surfer can’t be decided over the course of 1 event. ( unlike other sports) It takes the whole year to decide that. These surfers represent themselves and their countries throughout the whole yearly tour. Give the world champ the gold medal and be done with it.

freerider.'s picture
freerider.'s picture
freerider. Monday, 14 Oct 2019 at 7:39am

When I started surfing it was kind of an anti-establishment fringe lifestyle. why would anybody today want surfing in the Olympics, to draw more exposure and more crowds. please just leave us alone so we can get away from the Establishment and just go surf in some peace and solitude...........

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher Monday, 14 Oct 2019 at 4:11pm

High Divers in loin cloth (No Extras) Scale 100 ft Cliffs to wipeout at sea @ 85km/hr
Tickets $6-$160 (vip) Dive Athlete wins $8000 comp -7 x year-or as Cruise Boat pet
Tokyo Olympics Ticket price $415 - Arena 15,000

Beach Volleyball players dive in undies full of sand (no extra) No shade in Midday Sun.
Tickets -$40 -$200 (vip) Volleyball Players win $15-20,000 #1 World final on circuit.
Tokyo Olympics Ticket price $615 -Arena 12,000

Surfers need Caddy,float boards,surf shuttles,lifelines,temp control suits (No pervs)
Wave Pool Tickets- $100- $10,000 (vip) Surfers earn $100,000 x 11 Comps
Tokyo Olympics Ticket price $40 -Arena 6,000 (Stalls only)

Skydive models backdrop Tourist Ruins,Museums,Ports but need to flog Skyhooks.
Volleyball athletes need more clothes to flog to gain extra prizemoney.
Surfers must lose Town Mall shop cart to sneak past security as Olympic volunteers.