Home News Hawaii Native Cariss...

Hawaii Native Carissa Moore Is First American Woman To Qualify For The Olympics In Surfing

By Karen Price | Dec. 01, 2019, 7:42 p.m. (ET)

Carissa Moora Tokyo qualified graphic


Surfer Carissa Moore is an avid scrapbooker who puts together albums for every year of her life, complete with photos, stickers and other cutouts to illustrate what she did, who she was with and where she went.

She can now start cutting out Olympic rings for her 2020 scrapbook.

The three-time world champion from Honolulu became the first U.S. women’s surfer to qualify for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, where the sport will be contested on that level for the first time.

Moore qualified Sunday at the season-ending Maui Pro event in her home state. With the top eight women—but a maximum of two per country—in this year’s World Surf League Women’s Championship Tour standings earning Olympic berths, Moore, ranked No. 1, was a favorite heading into the Maui Pro.

However, because fellow Americans Lakey Peterson and Caroline Marks were just behind Moore in the standings in second and third, both the world title and the two Olympic berths came down to the very end. Moore qualified by reaching the round of 16 and by virtue of Peterson falling to two-time world champion Tyler Wright of Australia in her round of 16 heat, meaning only Marks can surpass Moore for the top U.S. women’s spot.

Moore, who competes under the Hawaiian flag in the WSL, and Marks remain in contention for the world title, which is based on cumulative results across the CT season.

Download the Team USA app today to keep up with surfing and all your favorite sports, plus access to videos, Olympic and Paralympic team bios, and more.

Moore, 27, has been on a course to the Olympic Games seemingly her whole life, even though the sport makes its Olympic debut next year. After learning to surf from her father at Waikiki Beach at the age of 5, Moore racked up nine national titles before hitting the Championship Tour full time in 2010, winning two events as a rookie and finishing the year ranked third overall.

In 2011, she unseated four-time consecutive world champion Stephanie Gilmore of Australia, and a friendly yet hotly contested rivalry was thrown into overdrive. The two traded world titles for the next four years, with Moore winning in 2013 and 2015.

Although Moore went through a slump in 2017 and finished the year ranked fifth in the world, she jumped back up to third in 2018. This year has been even better. In the nine competitions prior to the Maui Pro, Moore never finished lower than fifth, and she was among the top-three in seven of them. After winning the Pro France in October for her second victory in three contests, and then taking third at the Pro Portugal later in the month, she found herself on the verge of an Olympic berth and world title No. 4.

The Olympic surfing competition in Tokyo will feature 40 athletes – 20 men and 20 women. The competition will the held at Tsurigasaki Beach in Chiba, Japan, from July 26 through Aug. 2, 2020.

Kolohe Andino qualified for the first U.S. men’s spot on last month in Portugal. He will likely be joined by John John Florence, Kelly Slater or Seth Moniz based on the results of the season-ending men’s tournament later this month.

Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic and Paralympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

Related Athletes

head shot

Carissa Moore