LA JOLLA, California - The world's top surfers from the American continent are set to make their debut in the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, where shortboard, longboard, SUP surfing and SUP racing will feature on the Sports Program for the first time. Led by the ISA and its President, Fernando Aguerre, the inclusion of Surfing and SUP in the 2019 Pan Am Games were a key part of the ISA's plan for inclusion of surfing in the Olympic Games, which was approved in 2016 in Rio, for the 2020 Tokyo Games.
All the surfing events portion of the Pan Am Games will run from July 29 to August 4 at the renowned break of Punta Rocas, south of Lima's city center.
The event will serve as a qualifier for Tokyo 2020, with the top eligible man and woman of the shortboard division earning slots in surfing's Olympic debut. Given that the Pan Am Games are the third priority in surfing's Olympic qualification system, the surfers that qualify for Tokyo 2020 will not be confirmed until the 2020 World Surfing Games and 2019 World Surf League Championship Tour conclude.
Many of the top talents of the Americas have confirmed their participation in Lima 2019, which will feature over 6,500 athletes from 41 countries in one of the largest gatherings of Olympic and non-Olympic sports outside the Olympic Games.
Luiz Diniz on his Gold medal winning campaign in China. | Photo: ISA / Pablo Jimenez
The SUP disciplines of the competition will feature the sport's top names in what will be the biggest milestone for the discipline to date. Brazil will field a strong team for the SUP surfing competition, featuring ISA Gold Medalists in the men's and women's events. Luiz Diniz, the two-time, reigning ISA World Champion will be joined by the 2013 ISA World Champion Nicole Pacelli.
Team USA's star-studded talent will lead the charge for the SUP racing discipline. ISA Gold Medalists Candice Appleby and Connor Baxter have qualified, with Appleby double qualifying in both the SUP surfing and racing competitions.
Canada's Lina Augaitis, a two-time ISA Gold Medalist in her own right, has also qualified and will create steep competition for Appleby in the SUP racing discipline.
ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:
"The ISA is proud to see surfing make its highest profile appearance yet in the Olympic Movement. Not only will fans around the world see the culture, energy and high-performance of surfing, but they also will be treated with the inclusion of the surfing disciplines of StandUp Paddle surfing and racing, which will provide a new, youthful outlook to the event. The ISA led the charge for the inclusion of Surfing and SUP in the 2019 Pan Am Games, as part of our plan for inclusion in the Olympic Games, which was approved in 2016 in Rio. Pan Am inclusion is a stepping stone, and surely indicative of the importance, popularity and value of Surfing both within the Olympic Movement and in our oceans, lakes, and rivers around the world."
USA's Connor Baxter during his 2015 ISA campaign in Mexico. | Photo: ISA
The preliminary schedule is as follows:
- July 29 - Shortboard, longboard
- July 30 - Shortboard
- July 31 - Shortboard, longboard, SUP surfing
- August 1 - Shortboard, longboard, SUP surfing,
- August 2 - Shortboard, longboard, SUP surfing
- August 3 - Shortboard, longboard, SUP surfing
- August 4 - SUP racing, shortboard, longboard, SUP surfing
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