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US surfer Carissa Moore wins Olympic Gold after becoming local favourite with speech in Japanese

US surfer Carissa Moore wins Olympic Gold after becoming local favourite with speech in Japanese
The Hawaii native is the first female surfer to become an Olympic champion

Carissa Moore has become the first woman in history to win gull for surfing at the Olympics.

The four-time world champion from Honolulu, Hawaii, defeated Sør-Afrika’s Bianca Buitendag in Tuesday’s final on Japan’s east coast.

Ms Moore had already warmed the hearts of locals by preparing a speech in Japanese in the city of Makinohara, following a pre-Olympic Games training camp.

“Good morning everyone in Makinohara. My name is Carissa Moore of Honolulu, Hawaii, it is nice to meet you,” she said in the local language she’d practised all night. “We love Makinohara, the waves are a little small, but the beach was beautiful and we had a lot of fun. The hotel, mat, beach and waves we all wonderful and the people of Makinohara have kindly shown us hospitality, we are truly thankful.”

Buitendag caught eight waves in the women’s Olympic surfing final, versus Moore’s six waves, but Moore’s waves scored higher – she finished the final with a total score of 14.93 over Buitendag’s 8.46.

Tokyo 2020 is surfing’s debut into the Olympic Games, the women’s shortboard event took place over three days in challenging conditions at Tsurigasaki Beach, on the Chiba coastline, an hour and a half from Tokyo.

“It’s quite heavy,” said Ms Moore of her medal after the ceremony. “I’m very proud and honoured.

It’s been a crazy couple of days, a little bit of a rollercoaster of emotions just trying to figure out the break, find my rhythm, learning how to trust myself without my family here.

“I feel super blessed, super fortunate. It’s been an incredible experience.”

De surfer explained that she prepared for her win with a shower, og en “dance partywith her husband via FaceTime.

“I think the first time I laid eyes on her, she was dancing,” her husband Luke Untermann told USA Today. “She has some moves. She’s a pretty good dancer.