ESPN has reported that South Africa’s Jordy Smith has officially pulled out of the Tokyo Olympics after just being accepted by an independent review panel citing knee injury.
In a media statement, the current world number 7 said, “It was tough to make the decision to withdraw. 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 had elected to have knee surgery in just weeks ago instead of waiting until after the Olympics, stating that if he would have waiting he would have had to have a full knee construction telling the international sporting outlet, “At that point, it would have been anything from eight months to a year and a half out after that, as opposed to a month and a half to two months, maybe three months max — and that’s [for] your average person. So I opted for the repair. I’ve got 10 years plus of my professional surfing career and my entire life that I want to continue surfing. I wanted to keep my knee in its most original state instead of having full knee construction. At that point, who knows how long things are going to take? It would put next year out for me. It would put a lot more at risk for me. I think the biggest goal for me is to be able to surf for as long as possible in my life with a healthy knee.”
The move, while very sad for South Africa, guarantees Italy’s Leonardo Fioravanti will surf.
Also, the Office of Journalistic Integrity is looking into the World Surf League’s bald-faced steal of “more as the story develops.”
More as the story develops™.