Kelly Slater to retire after 2024 Olympic Games, he wants a gold medal to finish off his career
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Surfing legend Kelly Slater has said he will retire from the sport following the 2024 Olympic Games.
Considered an icon in the world of surfing, Slater has been credited with leading the sport into the limelight and the mainstream.
The 51-year-old has spent more than three decades in the waves, winning his first world title in 1992 and another 10 titles in years gone by.
He is currently ranked 16th in the world after taking out last year’s Pipeline Masters in Hawaii.
However, there is one accolade not on his list - an Olympic medal.
Surfing only became an Olympic sport in 2021 at the Tokyo Games.
However, Slater missed out on the American team by just one spot.
This time around the surfing great doesn’t want to miss out, and says that it could make for his voyage from the sport.
He told The Guardian: “If I make the Olympics, I’ll retire at the Olympics.”
It’s not the first inkling of retirement talk from Slater, who claimed in 2018 that he had plans to retire after the 2019 season.
But he’s still here, and the Olympics is a driving motivation for that.
The competition for the Paris Games will actually be held in Tahiti at the Tehupo’o break where Slater has won the World Surf League on five occasions.
Of course, that’s five of 56 career championship tour victories.
But considering his success in Tahiti, if he were to make the Olympic team he’d be among the favourites for the gold medal.
He continued: “I’m really hoping to qualify for it, but I need to get my butt into gear.
“The qualification process is going to be tough, but if I can get into the Olympics, the location the event is at in Tahiti – that wave really suits my strengths.
“So if I can get there I think I have a really good chance of a medal, but I think the harder part is going to be getting there, to be honest.”
The surfer added that competing at the Olympics has become a new factor of motivation for him.
He added: “As a kid my goal was to win contests on tour and potentially be a world champion one day – that was really the peak of my idea about what my future might hold in surfing.
“With surfing coming into the Olympics at the last summer Olympics in Japan for the first time, it’s offered up this other potential goal to reach towards.”
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