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Hawaii’s Carissa Moore wins gold, making history in inaugural Olympic surfing competition

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 10:07 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 27, 2021 at 11:39 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - History made.

Hawaii’s own Carissa Moore took home the gold medal Tuesday in the inaugural women’s Olympic surfing competition, defeating South Africa’s Bianca Buitendag at Tsurigasaki Beach.

Moore — a four-time world champion — is now the first female surfer to win the gold in Olympic surfing, which made its much-anticipated debut at the Tokyo Olympics.

The Punahou graduate clinched gold with a 14.93 scored wave average.

Due to uncertain weather conditions, the surfing competition was moved up.

And early in the heat, both surfers had trouble finding any ridable waves. But Moore was slowly able to take wave after wave to build her lead, while Buitendag could not find her footing in the choppy surf.

Moore’s family gathered at a watch party in Kaimuki to cheer her on because they were not able to attend in person. After Moore had clinched the gold, her mother Carol burst into tears.

“Completely elated!” she said. “We’re all so happy.”

Moore’s husband, Luke Untermann, said she has worked incredibly hard to make the gold a reality.

“The conditions were extremely tough today and so it could have gone either way,” he said.

Moore is the only American surfer to reach the podium after Caroline Marks lost in the bronze medal rounds, while Kolohe Andino and fellow Hawaii surfer John John Florence were eliminated in the earlier rounds.

This story will be updated.

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