Puerto Rico Welcomes World’s Best Surfers

Puerto Rico Welcomes World’s Best Surfers with Festive and Emotion filled Opening Ceremony for the 2024 ISA World Surfing Games

Arecibo, Puerto Rico – February 23, 2024

Today, over 260 of the best surfers in the world, representing 55 nations, gathered in Arecibo, Puerto Rico to celebrate the opening of surfing’s final qualifier for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, the 2024 ISA World Surfing Games (WSG).

With a total of 16 Olympic slots on the line, 9 for women and 7 for men, each of the athletes have arrived with high hopes as they chase Olympic dreams. Their passion poured out as they marched along the Arecibo waterfront in ISA’s traditional Parade of Nations with flags flying high and chants ringing out.

The iconic ISA Sands of the World Ceremony saw representatives of each of the nations gathered pouring sand from their home beaches into one container as a symbol of the peaceful gathering of nations of the world through surfing. Two new nations, British Virgin Islands and Slovakia, poured their sand and raised their flags at the WSG for the very first time.

The athletes present included multiple former WSG gold medalists, WSL Champions, and Tokyo 2020 Olympians, including Olympic gold medalist Carissa Moore (USA), who represented as sand-pourer for the USA.

Multiple dignitaries were also present, including ISA President, Fernando Aguerre, the President of the Local Organizing Committee and Member of the International Olympic Committee, Richard Carrion, Mayor of Arecibo, Carlos Ramírez Irizarry, Executive Director for Tourism Puerto Rico, Carlos Mercado, and the President of the Puerto Rico Olympic Committee, Sara Rosario.

President of the Local Organizing Committee and Member of the International Olympic Committee, Richard Carrion said:

“I knew Fernando when he was lobbying for surfing to be recognized as an Olympic sport and I told him, ‘Don’t waste your time, this is going to be very difficult,’ but he continued with that perseverance and in 2014 he convinced me. Today, it fills me with great pride to be here in Arecibo for a world championship in preparation for the 2024 Olympic Games. Puerto Rico receives it from the heart.”

ISA President, Fernando Aguerre said:

“Thank you so much everybody for making it to this magical island of Puerto Rico. We are, today and every day, the united nations of surfing. This year we celebrate 60 years. The ISA was founded in Australia in 1964 during the first world championships. Our vision is ‘a better world through surfing’. These times of the opening ceremony are our way to bring the world together though surfing, in peace.”

“All of us are ambassadors of the ocean. When this event is over we are going to be ambassadors of Puerto Rico as well. Some of you will take home medals, some of you will take home Olympic slots, but all of you are champions for being here this week. Viva Puerto Rico!”

Competition will begin tomorrow at 7:30am AST with Men’s Main Round 1 at Margara and Women’s Main Round 1 at El Pico.

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