Carissa Moore proud to represent her country
Team USA surfer and 4-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore performed well with a 11.74 heat total that earned her a first-place finish in Round 1.
“It’s crazy!” said Moore following her win in the inaugural women’s Olympic surfing heat. “I’ve never had so much USA gear before, but I am very proud to be representing the red, white and blue. There’s been multiple special moments leading up to this that I am going to cherish for the rest of my life.”
When asked about the emotions she felt as her name was being announced to compete as an Olympian, Moore replied, “I was trying not to cry! I was thinking of my family because they had a watch party at home, so I was thinking about how they are here with me, and I felt them. This is a culmination of my whole life, and I wouldn’t be here today without the community of people behind me — I think that is why it is extra special.
“First heats are always a little nerve wracking for me in any event. It feels good to come out on top, [remind myself] that I’m okay and I do know how to surf. Hopefully I will build momentum from here.”
Boukhiam aims to grow African Surfing
The lone African male surfing in the event, Morocco’s Ramzi Boukhiam, put on an underdog performance, defeating the two-time WSL CT Champion Florence (USA).
Boukhiam hopes to utilize his Olympic platform to develop the sport in Morocco and beyond.
“I am super proud to represent my country,” said Boukhiam. “We have great waves, a lot of potential kids with talent.
“I hope that being the first Olympic surfer in Morocco, and one of the few who surfs for a living, motivates the kids and pushes the sponsors to support them. I just try to do my best to represent my country and be a role model. I hope it works.
“I thought I was going to be nervous, but I felt great. I had no nerves and I made it, that’s most important.”