Why Is A Surfer From Italy The Olympic Alternate For Jordy Smith?
Photo by Ben Poullenot/WSL

Why Is A Surfer From Italy The Olympic Alternate For Jordy Smith?

The ISA’s process for selecting substitutes is… different.

Words by Jack Mutschler

How is Leo Fioravanti, a surfer representing Italy, listed as the alternate for South Africa’s Jordy Smith? The distance between Italy and South Africa is 8,090 km. Leo is also listed as an alternate for Japan’s Kanoa Igarashi and the French team of Michel Bourez and Jeremy Flores. Is Leo Fioravanti the world’s first French-Italian-Japanese-South-African-Professional-Surfer?

Photo By ISA

The reason for the list of alternates—however geographically confusing it may be— is that surfers qualify by name, not necessarily by country. It doesn’t necessarily matter what country the surfer is from, unless the country has already maxed out their quota of 2 surfers for that specific gender. Leo is on the list four times because he is the next eligible surfer in line if any one of those surfers that qualified via the 2019 WSL CT.

Photo by ISA

Words by ISA:

If a quota place allocated is not confirmed by the National Olympic Committee (NOC) by the June 21 deadline for confirmation or is declined by the NOC, the quota place will be reallocated to the next highest ranked athlete not yet qualified at the respective event, respecting the maximum quota places of two surfers per gender per NOC.

If the athlete qualified through ISA Continental Qualifying Event – 2019 ISA World Surfing Games and/or Pan American Games 2019 – the quota place will be reallocated to next highest ranked athlete in the respective event provided the athletes are within the ISA quality control ranking (top 30). If no available athlete from the continents finish within the ISA quality control ranking, the place will be allocated to the next best ranked athlete, not yet qualified, regardless of the continent.

The deadline for the Final Entries list of participating athletes in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 (sport entries deadline) is 5 July 2021 at 23:59 Japan time (UTC+9).

After the sport entries deadline, where there are medical conditions preventing participation of an athlete, proven Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV), a positive COVID-19 test, isolation or quarantine due to a COVID-19 infection or other exceptional reasons, the IOC, after consultation with the relevant IF and IOC medical experts (when deemed appropriate by the IOC), may authorize a permanent replacement of an athlete by another athlete only in the same sport and discipline and event provided the reallocation is complete prior to Surfing’s Technical Meeting, which is scheduled to take place at the surfing venue in Tokyo on July 24th at 3pm local time.

For surfing, in which the quota place is allocated to an athlete by name, the reallocation procedure will be initiated in accordance with the approved Qualification System for surfing.  In this case, replacement athletes must meet the eligibility conditions and qualification criteria, must have been registered on the NOC’s ‘Long List’ of athletes eligible to serve as replacements, and must have no doping control issues pending.

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