The idea of surfing being apart of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games is becoming more and more real. Yesterday, World No. 4 Tatiana Weston-Webb announced that she’ll be officially waving the Brazilian flag for the rest of the 2018 ‘CT season in preparation for the 2020 Olympics.
The decision isn’t necessarily surprising (the spunky 21-year-old goofyfoot already holds a dual US-Brazilian citizenship), and in a way, it could be seen as a smart move. Weston-Webb could have a better chance at making the Olympics as a Brazilian athlete as opposed to having to fight against the top ‘CT Americans for a spot on the U.S. team.
Here’s what she had to say about her decision:
Today I’m excited to announce that, moving forward, I will be representing Brasil on both the WSL Championship Tour as well as in preparation for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. This is a major decision for me and one that I’m really excited about.
Most folks aren’t aware that my Dad is originally from England and my Mom is originally from Brasil. Brasil is where I was born, but I feel truly blessed to have been raised on beautiful Kauai – both the community and the waves played a huge role in shaping who I am as a surfer and as a person. I am very grateful for that.
However, Brasil has always been an important part of who I am and, recently, I was approached by the Brasilian Olympic Committee with an opportunity to represent the country in a major way. It’s always been a dream of mine to compete in the Olympics and when surfing was announced as an official Olympic sport, I knew that my dream had a chance of becoming a reality.
Brasil owns a huge part of my heart. I have family, friends and a terrific amount of support there. It’s a place that has always felt like home and I am beyond proud to represent such an amazing country with so much passion and dedication for our sport. While this change gives me the opportunity to represent Brasil in 2020, all spots have to be earned and I’ll be trying my best to qualify as one of the few surfers able to represent their countries in the Olympics.
I consider myself very fortunate to enjoy fan support from Hawaii, Brasil and around the world. Thank you, everyone, for understanding, respecting, and supporting my decision.
Weston-Webb isn’t the first full-time ‘CT competitor to swap allegiances. Back in February, Kanoa Igarashi announced he’ll be representing Japan on the ‘CT this year and in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. With a little over two years until the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Games, it’ll be interesting to see what else transpires and if anyone else decides to switch teams.