"The United States Olympic Committee is concerned. They want medals and preferably gold."
2020 will be here before we all know it, bringing with it the Olympic Games and surfing’s first ever appearance. Australia is turning its proud eyes toward Bede “The White Fijian” Durbidge to train up their Julian Wilsons and Noa Deanes for silver. Brazil has some fabulous head surf coach, for certain, but won’t need him or her as Gabriel Medina, Filipe Toledo and Italo Ferrari will be prohibitive favorites to split the gold. China has one of the greatest Australians to ever get elbowed in the face (Pete Townend) and South Africa has Michael February.
But what about the United States of America?
Well, U.S. Surfing did have Joey Buran up until basically yesterday but swapped him for a new coach in the face of “a bleaker situation” and let’s turn to the Santa Cruz Sentinel for more:
USA Surfing on Jan. 1 named Chris Gallagher Stone its head coach and the man in charge of ensuring U.S. surfers bring home some medals from Tsurigasaki Beach, the surf venue for the 2020 Games. In addition to his new duties, Gallagher Stone will continue to work as the organization’s elite technical coach.
Gallagher Stone, who grew up in Santa Cruz, will replace Joey Buran at the position. Buran, a former Pipeline Masters champion, had been with USA Surfing since it formed in June 2017 and was named head coach in May 2018. He resigned in December to commit more time to his family and his job as senior pastor of Orange County’s Worship Generation church, according to an email he sent to Team USA members last month.
Gallagher Stone has plenty of work ahead of him, however. The U.S. Olympic Committee has made it clear it expects medals in the fledgling sport. Yet, while the women are in good position to finish on the podium — Lakey Peterson of Santa Barbara and Carissa Moore of Hawaii are currently ranked Nos. 2 and 3, respectively — the U.S. men are facing a bleaker situation. As of Monday, the top two Americans on the tour are No. 7 Conner Coffin of Santa Barbara and No. 11 Kolohe Andino of San Clemente.
“The USOC is concerned about that,” Cruse said. “They want medals, and preferably gold.”
Ummmmm yeah, maybe the USOC (United States Olympic Committee) should lower its sights to 5th – 7th place.
Or give Filipe Toledo a green card.