On April 23, 2018, the International Surfing Association (ISA) formally approved Tatiana Weston-Webb’s change of nation request to compete for Brazil in future global Surfing events.
Weston-Webb is eligible to represent Team Brazil in ISA World Championships and participate in the Olympic Qualification process for Tokyo 2020 under the Brazilian flag.
Due to possessing dual citizenship between the USA and Brazil, Weston-Webb is eligible to change nations, subject to the ISA’s approval through a formal review process in accordance with the ISA Rules. As the world governing body recognized by the International Olympic Committee, the ISA is required to validate any requested change of nationality, also in compliance with the Olympic Charter.
Weston-Webb jump-started her successful Surfing career after being crowned Girls U-18 ISA Junior World Champion back-to-back years in 2013 and 2014, competing under the Hawaiian flag. She then went on to qualify for the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour where she solidified herself as a top competitor in Women’s Surfing, finishing in 10th place overall for the 2017 season.
The ISA allows Team Hawaii to compete as a separate nation in events that are not involved in the qualification processes for Olympic movement events, however, in events that are included in these qualification processes, such as the 2019 and 2020 ISA World Surfing Games, which will qualify surfers for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Hawaiian surfers compete under the USA flag.
The news of Weston-Webb’s change of nation comes just a week after the ISA approved the change of nation request of the Japanese American star, Kanoa Igarashi, who will now surf for Team Japan in the Qualification Process for Tokyo 2020 after previously representing USA.
ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:
“The ISA is proud to validate and approve the change of nation request of Tatiana Weston-Webb. Tati made a name for herself coming up through the ISA ranks and ever since we witnessed her dominating back-to-back ISA Junior World Champion performances, we knew that she would become something special for women’s Surfing on a global scale.
“Tati will add a strong presence to Team Brazil, complementing the star power of their WSL World Champion surfers Gabriel Medina and Adriano De Souza. I am looking forward to watching her participate in the qualification process for Tokyo 2020, as she strives to reach her goal of earning the first Olympic Surfing Gold Medal for her birth country, Brazil.”
The International Surfing Association (ISA), founded in 1964, is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the World Governing Authority for Surfing. The ISA governs and defines Surfing as Shortboard, Longboard & Bodyboarding, StandUp Paddle (SUP) Racing and Surfing, Bodysurfing, Wakesurfing, and all other wave riding activities on any type of waves, and on flat water using wave riding equipment. The ISA crowned its first Men’s and Women’s World Champions in 1964. It crowned the first Big Wave World Champion in 1965; World Junior Champion in 1980; World Kneeboard Champions in 1982; World Longboard Surfing and World Bodyboard Champions in 1988; World Tandem Surfing Champions in 2006; World Masters Champions in 2007; and World StandUp Paddle (SUP, both surfing and racing) and Paddleboard Champions in 2012.
ISA membership includes the surfing National Governing Bodies of 104 countries on five continents. Its headquarters are located in La Jolla, California. It is presided over by Fernando Aguerre (Argentina), first elected President in 1994 in Rio de Janeiro. The ISA’s four Vice-Presidents are Karín Sierralta (PER), Kirsty Coventry (ZIM), Casper Steinfath (DEN) and Barbara Kendall (NZL).