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USA Olympic Surf Team Honored At Lakers Game

Team USA surfers Caroline Marks and Kolohe Andino and two-time US Open champion and junior national coach Brett Simpson met with Lakers fans, signed autographs and were introduced center court today, in a special Toyota presentation recognizing surfing’s Olympic debut.

These Californians plus Hawaiians Carissa Moore and John John Florence are headed to Tokyo for surfing’s first Olympics in just five months. To celebrate surfing's first Olympic Games, each team member received a custom Lakers jersey from the Lakers and Toyota.

Team USA’s Golden State surfers and coach were stoked to watch the legendary Lakers players, three of whom have won gold medals at the Olympics – LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Dwight Howard.

USA Surfing’s junior national coach and two-time U.S. Open champion Brett Simpson is an avid Lakers fan. “What a special opportunity! I’m so stoked to stand with America’s best surfers and be introduced during the famed Lakers organization’s home game,” Simpson said. “We get to watch one of the best ever - Lebron James, who has earned two gold medals!”

“The United States fielded an absolute dream team of surfers. I am so proud of these word class athletes and excited about what they will bring to surfing’s first Olympics,” said USA Surfing CEO Greg Cruse. “It will be fun for the team to interact with the Lakers’ hometown crowd in a city that will host the 2028 Olympics, where surfing is expected to be a major highlight of the Games.”

USA Surfing is grateful to partner with Toyota to raise the sport’s visibility and help the athletes prepare for success. “We’re excited to present Team USA’s first Olympic surf team,” said Dedra DeLilli, group manager, Olympic and Paralympic marketing, Toyota Motor North America. “In just a few short months, this exceptionally talented group of athletes will make history as surfing debuts at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and we’re honored to partner with USA Surfing as we support them on their journey to the Games.”

Team USA surfers are gold medal contenders with formidable talent. Moore is the current world No. 1 and has four world titles to her name. Florence is a two-time world champion. Marks is ranked No. 2 in the world at just 18 years old. Andino is ranked No. 5 in the world and has an acrobatic style made for Japan’s waves.

“I’m super honored to represent my country and share it with my family and friends,” Marks said. “I’m excited for surfing’s fan base to expand and bring more attention to the WSL and to the sport.”

“I am so happy and could not be more excited to compete in Tokyo,” Andino said. "I love my country and I always love watching the Olympics, so it will be really rad to march in the Opening Ceremony and to be a part of everything.”

Cruse said an Olympic gold medal will represent a pinnacle of achievement for surf athletes with more national and worldwide attention than surfing has ever known.

“Carissa, Caroline, Kolohe and John will be the pioneers in surfing’s Olympic movement. I’m looking forward to having them experience all the exposure, resources, history and inspiration of the world’s biggest sporting stage,” Cruse said.

USA Surfing became the national governing body for surfing in the Olympics in 2017 and is creating a high-performance path to the Olympic stage and cultivating the next generations of talent.

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