John John Florence withdraws from final two 2021 WSL championship tour events

Hawaii natives John John Florence and Carissa Moore made their Olympic surfing debut  on...
Hawaii natives John John Florence and Carissa Moore made their Olympic surfing debut on Saturday in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.(USA Surfing)
Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 2:25 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 30, 2021 at 2:50 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The North Shore’s John John Florence is taking a break from surfing.

Just two days after returning to the islands from the Tokyo Olympics, Florence announced that he will be withdrawing from the final two World Surf League championship tour events of the 2021 season.

He shared the news via Instagram.

“This was a really hard decision to make, but I’m not 100% healed from my knee surgery and I’m trying to do the right thing for my future health and goals,” Florence said.

Last week, Florence made history as he was one of 20 men’s surfers to drop into the first-ever surfing competition at the Olympics.

However, Florence’s stay in Tokyo was shorter than expected as he was knocked out of the Games by fellow Team USA teammate Kolohe Andino in the third round.

“The opportunity to surf in Tokyo was once in a lifetime, and a risk I was willing to take,” Florence said. “But, looking at the rest of the year and talking with my medical team, the best step forward is continuing with physical therapy for the next 60 days.”

The two-time champion suffered a knee injury during May’s Margaret River Pro, sidelining him for three WSL events ahead of his participation in Tokyo.

Florence currently stands at #10 in this season’s men’s championship tour rankings, with plans to be fully healthy and competing for next season’ Pipe Masters.

“I want to make sure there is nothing that keeps me from competing, and surfing the way I want to in the long term,” Florence said. “I’ll be ready to go for the Pipe Masters and excited to compete! Good luck to everyone still in the World Title race — it’s gonna be an exciting end to the year! Thanks for all of the support”

The final two WSL events of the season will be in Mexico and Tahiti, as Brazil’s Gabriel Medina is currently on pace to claim his third championship, leading the men’s field by over 13,000 points.

The Pipe Masters at Florence’s home break on Oahu’s Banzai Pipeline is scheduled to kick off next season’s WSL tour this December.

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