Surfing Returns to the Pan American Games at Santiago 2023

October 24th, 2023

Pichilemu, Chile – October 24, 2023

The surfing disciplines of Longboard, Shortboard and SUP Surfing began competition today at the iconic point break of Punta de Lobos in Pichilemu, Chile for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games. SUP Racing will also soon join the action as 88 athletes representing 16 nations participate across each of the four surfing disciplines. They join a total of nearly 7000 athletes from 41 nations competing in Santiago 2023.

It is the second time that surfing has been welcomed into the world’s largest multi-sport event under the Olympic Movement outside the Olympic Games. As with the first inclusion in Lima 2019, this year’s event will qualify two surfers for the Olympic Games. Specifically, the highest ranked eligible athletes in the shortboard division, one woman and one man, will earn a slot to compete at Teahupo’o, Tahiti as part of Paris 2024.

As with the Olympic Games, the surfing events of the Pan American Games are executed by the ISA and its technical team, who oversee every aspect of the competition.

The majority of the athletes competing in the surfing disciplines earned their slots through ISA events, with the remaining slots earned via the Pan American Surfing Association (PASA), which was founded by ISA President Fernando Aguerre in 1992.

Oscar Urbina, Team Costa Rica. Photo: ISA / Pablo Jimenez

Lima 2019 Gold Medalist and Tokyo 2020 Olympian Lucca Mesinas (PER) looked incredibly strong in Men’s Shortboard, opening up his campaign to return to the Olympic Games with the overall highest numbers out of any of the divisions run today.

“I’m feeling super happy to be here in Punta de Lobos,” Mesinas said. “This wave is really good. I’ve been here a couple times, so I’m really stoked to be here surfing perfect lefts, which is what I love, I grew up surfing lefts. I think the forecast is going to be really good for the event. Happy to be here and just give it my best once again.”

Two-time ISA SUP Surfing World Champion Lucia Cosoleto (ARG) also posted great scores as she seeks to add a Pan American gold medal to her ISA collection.

“The Pan American Games are such an important sporting event for surfing and all of its disciplines,” Cosoleto said. “We are in a branch of the Olympics, so what could be more important than that for an athlete. I’m very happy to be here and honored to represent my country.”

ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:

“The Panam Games is such a special event for Surfing. Lima 2019 was the first time our sport was included in an event within the Olympic Movement and it is amazing to return and be a part of Santiago 2023 Games.

“A great day of action took place today and I can’t wait to watch all of the dramatic and exciting moments that will come throughout the week as the swell builds at this incredible surf break and we see two athletes rise to the occasion and qualify for Paris 2024.

We expect a larger swell for the second half of the event. This will be a history making one.”

Surfing will run at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games on October 24-30. Click here to view live results daily.

Maria Fernanda Reyes, Team Peru. Photo: ISA / Pablo Franco

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