Sport

Mathea Olin leads Canada's surfing team at the 2019 Pan Am Games

Mathea Olin leads Canada's surfing team at the 2019 Pan Am Games

Teenage surf star Mathea Olin was among seven athletes chosen by Surf Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee to compete at this summer's Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru.

The seven surfers named on Friday qualified for Team Canada based on results from the 2018 ISA World Surfing Games or the 2018 Pan American Surfing Games (PASA), which were also held in Lima.

Olin, 16, will return to the site where she won Canada's first ever international surfing medals — gold in women's longboard and bronze in shortboard — at the 2017 Pan Am Surf Games. The Tofino, B.C., native will compete in the longboard competition at the Pan Am Games.

"As someone born and raised surfing in Canada, I'm proud to be nominated to this team," Olin said. "It would mean the world to represent my Canadian roots at the Olympics and show the world what it truly means to be a Canadian surfer."

WATCH | Mathea Olin grew up in the cradle of Canadian surfing:

Surfing in the coldest conditions? Not a problem for Mathea Olin, who grew up in the cradle of Canadian surfing, Tofino, B.C. 2:38

Surfing at Lima 2019 will also have a direct impact on qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The winners of the men's and women's shortboard competitions in Lima will punch their tickets to Tokyo, where the sport is making its Olympic debut.

Canadian surfing is on the rise, with strong showings at recent international events, including the PASA event in December. The team picked up a sixth-place finish — just behind the United States, a surfing powerhouse — at the same Lima venue that will host the Pan Am Games competition.

"By developing a culture of excellence, Canadian surfing has come a long way in the past 30 years," Dom Domic, Executive Director of Surf Canada, said in a release. "By building on those previous successes we are incredibly excited to further showcase the very best of Canadian surfing to the world."

The surfing competition at the 2019 Pan Am Games will run from July 29 through August 4.

The full list of athletes chosen to compete at Lima 2019 are as follows: