In a crushing turn of events, professional surfer and Red Bull athlete Jordy Smith has made the difficult decision to pull out of the upcoming Summer Olympic Games at the last minute. The news comes in the wake of a nagging knee injury the Durban-born surfer has been dealing with since the Australian leg of World Surf League.
In recent competitions, Smith has kept up world-class performances despite flare-ups but ultimately opted to undergo surgery on his left knee in an attempt to fix the issue a mere six weeks before the Tokyo Games were set to begin. Unfortunately, the healing process needed more time than he’d hoped, and he had to make the decision to prioritise his body and rather not risk further impact on his career.
This decision comes as a particularly difficult pill to swallow for Smith, as he was set to cement himself in history as one of the first-ever surfers to represent South Africa at the Olympics.
“It was tough to make the decision to withdraw,” Smith commented. “I’ve been looking forward to the Olympics a long time now and my build-up was going so well. However, this decision is the only way to ensure I have a long career in professional surfing and reach my ultimate goal of winning the WSL Championship Tour.”
Smith remains arguably one of the biggest names in surfing around the world and has continuously set the pace for the country’s standard. He recently shared words of encouragement and support for the rest of the team representing South Africa.
“Rest assured, I’ll be there for the next one,” he added.