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Carissa Moore as the First Olympic Gold Medalist in Surfing

Local Hawaiian surfer Carissa Moore won the first ever Olympic gold  

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics marked a monumental milestone for surfing, as the sport made its Olympic debut and saw its first ever gold medalists crowned. On the women's side, Hawaiian superstar Carissa Moore etched her name in the history books by claiming the inaugural Olympic surfing gold. The 4-time World Champion from Honolulu defeated South Africa's Bianca Buitendag in the finals to ascend to the top of the Olympic podium.



Moore's triumphant Olympic run cemented her status as one of the greatest female surfers of all time. But her road to the Tokyo Games wasn't easy, as she's been working tirelessly since childhood to reach the pinnacle of surfing.

Carissa's Early Life and Career

  • Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii in August 1992
  • Began surfing at age 5 with her father at Waikiki
  • Won first NSSA national title at age 10, gained fame as Hawaii's top female grom
  • "I just loved being in the ocean. It was my happy place." - Carissa Moore
  • By age 16, became youngest woman to win Vans Triple Crown event
  • Qualified for World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour at 17
  • Named Rookie of the Year on first year on tour
  • Won first World Title in 2011 at age 18, youngest in history

Young Carissa Moore on the ocean

  • Added 3 more WSL World Titles in 2013, 2015, and 2019
  • Known for aggressive power surfing and incredible aerial maneuvers
  • Has spent over 1750 days ranked World #1 throughout her career
  • "Carissa is the most decorated, committed and well-respected surfer in the world." - WSL Commissioner

Historic Olympic Gold Medal Victory

  • Surfing's debut Olympics delayed from 2020 to 2021 due to COVID-19
  • Moore entered as #1 seed and heavy favorite for gold
  • Represented USA after lobbying for Hawaii to have its own team
  • Only Hawaiian surfer in the inaugural Olympic women's surfing field
  • Defeated Bianca Buitendag of South Africa in the finals to win gold
  • Scored highest wave score of competition with near perfect 9.33 run
Carissa Moore highlights on Olympics
Best of Carissa Moore highlights @Olympics
  • "It's been an incredible journey, and that was the best wave of my life." - Carissa Moore
  • Claims coveted title of first Olympic surfing champion

Carissa's Legacy and Impact

With her legendary career punctuated by the unprecedented Olympic gold medal, Moore has cemented herself as:

  • The most successful female professional surfer with 5 World Titles
  • A pioneering icon who paved the way for women's surfing
  • A role model for Hawaiian youth and aspiring surfers globally
  • A symbol of women's empowerment in sports
  • An inspiration to all with her positivity, grace, and work ethic
  • "I'm so stoked to share this moment with all the youth back home in Hawaii. Believe in your dreams!" - Carissa Moore

Moore has elevated women's surfing to new heights and left an indelible mark on the sport. As surfing rides a new wave of popularity following its Olympic showcase, Carissa Moore will forever be remembered as the trailblazing gold medalist who made history in Tokyo.

Carissa Moore Wins gold medal


Carissa Moore's triumphant gold medal run is a testament to her hard work, determination, and world-class surfing talents. As a local Hawaiian girl, she has made her home state and nation proud by earning the highest achievement in her sport. Moore's historic victory opens exciting new possibilities for surfing's future and will inspire generations to come. Congratulations Carissa on winning the first Olympic gold for women's surfing!


We are super proud of Carissa, and think of her as one of surfing’s greatest role models.


Check out more of Carissa Moore's relevant articles: 
Oi Rio Pro 2022
Carissa Moore and Gabriel Medina as World Title Holder