Kanoa Igarashi will surf for Japan in the Championship Tour

February 13, 2018 | Surfing
Kanoa Igarashi: ready to represent Japan in the Championship Tour and Olympic Games | Photo: Poullenot/WSL

Kanoa Igarashi will represent Japan in the 2018 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour.

The 20-year-old surfer was born in Huntington Beach, California, but he has dual citizenship - his parents and family are Japanese.

With this announcement, Igarashi hopes to compete for the Land of the Rising Sun in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Simultaneously, he will become the first ever Japanese athlete on the Dream Tour.

"I want to be able to compete in the Olympics and proud to surf for Japan. I have a lot of support and fans over there, so it is something for them to cheer for," explained Kanoa Igarashi.

Surfing has been added to the Tokyo 2020 program during summer 2016. It is the first time that the sport participates in the Olympic Games.

"The Olympics is the greatest sports competition, and it is something that you dream of doing as a kid. I never thought it would be possible as a surfer. It is an exciting time for surfing, and I am going to represent it in the best way possible."

In Tokyo 2020, male and female surfers will compete for gold, silver, and bronze medals at Tsurigasaki Beach, the venue chosen for the surfing's Olympic debut.