Today marks one year to go until the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. To celebrate the milestone, Aussie surfing star Molly Picklum is joining other high-profile athletes speaking at an event in Sydney with the Australian Olympic Committee.
Picklum, from the NSW Central Coast, currently sits at number four inside the World Surf League (WSL) women’s top five rankings and is well-positioned to qualify for the Olympics.
“It would be really special,” she said.
“Representing my country is a priority for me, I would be so proud to wear the green and gold and be part of the Australian Olympic team. Being able to bring home a gold medal for not only myself but for our whole team would be incredible.”
Surfing made its Olympic Games debut at Tokyo 2020 and was one of the highlights of the Games with Owen Wright winning the bronze medal for Australia. The sport will again be front and centre at Paris 2024 as the surf competition heads to Teahupo’o, Tahiti.
“I think we have a great chance (of Olympic success), our team will be strong,” Picklum said.
“Everyone will be giving it their all and no one will be scared of pushing themselves on that wave. There is plenty of experience as well as young energy in our group.”
Teahupo’o is one of the planet’s most challenging and dangerous waves.
“I’ve been there once before and had a little bit of experience in the water. It’s definitely an intimidating wave, similar to Pipeline. But I love a challenge so will be pushing myself.”
The 20-year-old has been a revelation in only her second year on Tour, earning top-five finishes in all nine events of the series so far, including her triumph in Hawaii and a second place at the Pro Bells Beach as well as at J-Bay last week. Picklum’s result at J-Bay has guaranteed her spot in the WSL end of season finals as the tour heads to the last event of the regular season in Tahiti next month.
Last week, Ethan Ewing became the first Aussie to secure the ranking requirement for Paris 2024 qualification.
Australian surfers can qualify for the Games by finishing as one of the top two Australian surfers in the top eight (women’s) or top 10 (men’s) in the 2023 WSL rankings, and by attending all required qualification events under the ISA Paris 2024 Qualification System. There is a further chance to qualify additional athletes at the 2024 ISA World Surfing Games.
In July 2024, Surfing Australia will nominate those athletes who have satisfied the Surfing Australia Paris 2024 Nomination Criteria to the Australian Olympic Committee for selection.