Kelly Slater, 2017 Surfer of the Year, still defining the sport in his mid-40s. Photo: Glaser
Kelly Slater, 2017 Surfer of the Year, still defining the sport in his mid-40s. Photo: Glaser

Slater Says 2020 Olympics Could Be His Swan Song

During the press conference for the Founder's Cup, the 11-time World Champ admits that if he makes the Olympics, it might be his last competitive hurrah

In between practice rounds of the Founders’ Cup in California cow country, the captains for each team (the event will be a group-based competition, if you hadn’t heard) gathered in front of microphone and camera-toting reporters of all media outlets (HBO sports and Fox News included) to discuss this historical event.

About halfway through the interview portion of the conference, Kelly Slater (captain for the USA team) was asked if a wave pool was used for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, would he consider competing? Here’s what the 11-time World Champ had to say:

“Built into the contract, if they use this pool, they have to put me on the team,” Slater jokingly told the reporter. “Possibly. Look, I'm not going to be competing too much longer. If I do make the team, that [surfing in the Olympics] could sort of be my swan song, potentially. But where I've been in the standings, I'm definitely not a shoe-in for the team so I've got to surf my way onto that thing, and if I do, it'd be a big honor and would mark 40 years of competitive surfing for me.”

The crowd paused on that note and then immediately erupted into applause. The 2020 Olympics is still a couple years away, but you’ve got to admit: making the Olympic team as a 48-year-old man and dropping the mic thereafter would be one hell of a swan song.

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