Wait...How Did Caity Simmers Get A Spot In The Olympics? - Stab Mag

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If you haven't yet, go watch Caity's SEOTY now. Photo by Matt Dunbar

Wait…How Did Caity Simmers Get A Spot In The Olympics?

Some sneaky selection criteria means Team USA is beginning to look mighty formidable.

news // Sep 19, 2023
Words by Holden Trnka
Reading Time: 2 minutes

You may recall that one of the narratives accompanying this year’s controversial Final 5 was the duel for the last women’s Olympic spot.

By beating Caity Simmers — and then winning a World Title — Caroline Marks claimed that position.

Done and dusted.

Except, not quite.

A few days ago, O’Neill caught us off guard with this post:

Remember when Kirra Pinkerton won the 2022 ISA World Games, in turn securing an extra Teahupo’o 2024 spot for the US Women’s Team?

Well, in the interest of fairness, Team USA quietly created a selection criteria for who this third surfer would be — instead of subjectively selected a left-tube specialist, as we suggested they should.

By finaling in Tahiti and finishing World #4, Caity met that criteria.

According to the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee;

Selection criteria for the Olympic Games for the third quota slot goes to, “…the athlete…who reaches the semifinals at the 2023 WSL CT Tahiti Pro…” and “…If two or more athletes reach the semis, then the highest placing athlete would be named…”

And if no U.S. athlete/s made semifinals at Tahiti, then the third spot would go to the next highest ranked athlete that wasn’t already qualified via end of season rankings.

All qualifications are provisional and won’t be officially finalized until the athletes have fulfilled all the requirements, including participation in the 2024 ISA World Surfing Games. The athlete in the third slot must participate in ISA World Surfing Games 2024. The top two ranked CT surfers at end of season 2023 must also participate to maintain eligibility.

So, Caity was essentially guaranteed qualification heading into Trestles regardless of the outcome.

And, if you watched to the end of her SEOTY entry (or her heat with Vahine Fierro) you’ll know she’s quite the assassin in unruly lefthand lumps.

Between Carissa Moore (2023 Pipe Champ), Caroline Marks (2023 Tahiti Champ), and now Caity (2023 Tahiti runner-up), the Team USA Women appear to be all-but-unstoppable.

More Olympic updates, possibly regarding an enormous seafaring vessel, soon to come.

Caity smiles, team India trembles. Photo by Beatriz Ryder/World Surf League


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