Xantos Villegas: the world's first gold medal winner in kitesurfing

Xantos Villegas, a 32-year-old kitesurfer from Mexico, climbed the podium to accept the gold medal at the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games held in Barranquilla, Columbia.

This is the first time the Formula Kite class is included in the regional games of an Olympic cycle and represents a historic moment for the sport.

The gold was secured after Xantos won first place in fourteen out of the fifteen races over the course of four days. The wind conditions were strong, blowing at 19-25 knots per day, while the protected bay provided flat waters.

Just two months ago, kitesurfing was announced to be included in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Xantos already has his eyes set towards winning a medal there and will be training for the next six years to meet this goal.

His next stop will be the World Championships organized by World Sailing, in Aarhus, Denmark, next week.

Xantos Villegas began his sports career at the age of nine in competitive windsurfing, a sport that he considers essential to his transition to kiteboarding fourteen years ago.

"For me, this sport is everything - it's my life. My life revolves around kiteboarding, and it's much more than a passion. It's dedication, and it's sailing. Putting focus and energy into this, it's amazing. What excites me the most is when I teach other people," Villegas tells SurferToday.

The Central American and Caribbean Games gold medal winner operates 4 Elements Kiteboarding, one of the established kiteboarding schools in La Ventana, Baja California Sur. Here, he shares his passion for hydrofoiling by teaching others to do the same.