A teenager from Tofino has just made sports history by becoming the first Canadian to ever qualify for the Olympics in surfing.
Eighteen-year-old Sanoa Dempfle-Olin earned a silver medal at the Pan American Games on Monday, securing her a spot in the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Dempfle-Olin has been surfing in Tofino since she was a kid, and says she was inspired by her mom and her older sister, Mathea, who won a bronze medal at the Pan Am games in 2019.
“I’ve definitely, you know, put a lot of hard work into training and surfing and I’ve been super fortunate to have amazing people show me the way – other surfers I’ve looked up to,” she told CHEK News on Friday.
Dempfle-Olin adds that while she’s excited to represent Canada in Paris, she also can’t wait to represent the west coast of Vancouver Island.
“I surf for Team Canada, but as far as surfing goes in Canada it’s pretty much all about Tofino,” she said. “So definitely going to be representing the West Coast and Tofino and Ucluelet and this part of the Island.
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Earlier this year Dempfle-Olin was also in Tahiti, alongside her sister, to test the waters of Teahupo’o, the coast where next year’s Olympic surfing competition will be held.
Surfing made its Olympic debut at the Tokyo games in 2020, but Canada was not represented at the time.
“It’s definitely a dream come true and it feels amazing,” said Dempfle-Olin. “Eh, Canada, eh!”
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