First-ever surfing athlete named to Canadian Olympic Team

TORONTO (May 13, 2024) – CSA Surf Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee have announced the first-ever surfing athlete named to the Canadian Olympic Team. Sanoa Dempfle-Olin (Tofino, B.C.) will represent Team Canada at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in women’s shortboard, which will take place in Teahupo’o, Tahiti.

Dempfle-Olin provisionally qualified for Paris 2024 this past October when she advanced to the final of the women’s shortboard competition at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games, making her the top-ranked surfer in the event who had not already qualified. She went on to win the women’s shortboard silver medal at Santiago 2023. She later confirmed her spot at Paris 2024 by competing at the 2024 ISA World Surfing Games, where she finished tied for 13th.

“I feel so proud to be the first Canadian to qualify for surfing in the Olympics,” said Dempfle-Olin. “Being born and raised in Tofino, B.C and learning to surf in the North Pacific waters off of Vancouver Island has been so special. Being in the Olympics is a dream coming true and it’s an honour to represent myself, my family, my community and our island and all it’s given me along with all the local surfers who helped pave this path, as well as those that will follow in my footsteps. I feel so grateful for the opportunity.” 

Two months before the Pan Am Games, Dempfle-Olin achieved a career highlight when she won her first World Surf League Qualifying Series event, the WRV Outer Banks Pro in North Carolina. In January 2024, she claimed her first WSL Pro Junior win –the SLO CAL Open at Pismo Beach, California. She also made history in 2017 when she became the youngest-ever female surfer to win the Tofino Rip Curl Pro when she was 11 years old.

Surfing made its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020, although Canada did not qualify any athletes. When the sport made its Pan American Games debut at Lima 2019, Dempfle-Olin’s older sister, Mathea, made history by winning Canada’s first-ever Pan Am Games surfing medal – a bronze in women’s longboard. At Santiago 2023, Team Canada won two surfing medals – the silver won by Dempfle-Olin, and a bronze won by Finn Spencer in men’s SUP surf, which is not part of the Olympic programme.

Surfing is scheduled to take place July 27-30 (Day 1 to 4) in Teahupo’o, Tahiti, with contingency days planned for July 31-August 4. Teahupo’o is a renowned surf spot, having hosted the Tahiti Pro, a major competition on the World Surf League calendar for over 20 years. The Paris 2024 Organizing Committee chose to stage the surfing competitions at Teahupo’o, part of French Polynesia, to align with its ambition to spread the Games across France. It offers an opportunity to engage French Overseas Territories and their communities in the Olympic Games while showcasing France’s diverse heritage, including French Polynesian culture.

“I am so delighted for Sanoa who will be the first-ever Canadian surfer to compete at the Olympic Games. This cold-water athlete will undoubtedly warm Canadians’ hearts as she surfs the legendary Teahupo’o waves with power, speed and flow. I have no doubt that she will inspire the next generation to follow their dreams, wherever the waves take them. Sanoa, Canada is behind you, ” said Bruny Surin, Team Canada’s Paris 2024 Chef de Mission.

Shannon Brown (Tofino, B.C) will coach Dempfle-Olin in Tahiti during the Games.

Prior to being named to Team Canada, all nominations are subject to approval by the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by all National Sport Organizations.

The latest Team Canada Paris 2024 roster can be found here.



Dom Domic, Executive Director
Surf Canada
C: 604-721-4045

Tara MacBournie, Program Manager, Sport Communications
Canadian Olympic Committee
C: 647-522-8328

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