But maybe not the end of the teen shredder’s Olympic dream!
The ol’ citizenship swicharoo is in full swing as an athlete across the world doing whatever they gotta do to get into the 2024 Paris Games.
Rare is the country that don’t fast-track an athletically gifted immigrant or wannabe immigrant if it gets a little extra glitter in the country’s medal cabinet.
Kenyan distance runners, Jamaican springers, Russian wrestlers, Cuban boxers can choose whatever passport they want, pretty much. The Cuban-born British triple jumper Yamile Aldama, for one, has competed for Cuba, Britain and the Sudan.
Sao Paulo’s Jesse Mendes, who doesn’t have a chance in hell of getting to Teahupoo in 2024 with Brazil’s triumvirate of world champions, Medina, Toledo and Ferreira vying for the country’s two spots, switched his allegiance to Italy.
Readers will be familiar with Jesse Mendes’ wife, the Kauai-raised Tatiana Weston-Webb who surfed as American on tour but switched to Brazil prior to the Tokyo Games, where she finished ninth.
Canada’s hopes of Olympic surf gold in 2024 were buoyed when the Texas-born, Hawaii-raised Erin Brooks, who is fifteen and one of the few gals around with a solid air game, joined Team Canuck courtesy of her pending “citizenship by descent” .
Brooks’ grandpappy and grandmammy were born in Quebec but moved to the US where her daddy was born.
Germany and Italy were also options, says Brooks ’cause of her mama’s heritage, but “I felt like Canada was the right choice at that moment.”
Three years later, no citizenship, and now the ISA executive committee has “decided that Ms. Brooks’ eligibility to compete for Canada has been suspended with an immediate effect…”
In a presser the ISA wrote,
In March 2022, Surfing Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee requested Ms Brooks to be allowed to compete for Canada, as her citizenship application had been filed, but not completed.
A decision was made by the ISA administration to grant this request, based on assurances received from the Canadian Olympic Committee and Surfing Canada that citizenship was in process. The petition was approved without proper consultation of the ISA Executive Committee (EC) and the ISA President.
Following further analysis of the case in recent days, the ISA EC concluded that this decision was taken incorrectly and not in accordance with the applicable ISA Rules. According to the applicable ISA Rules and the documentation available at that time, the request by the Canadian Olympic Committee and Surfing Canada should have been rejected.
It ain’t necessarily the end of the road, howevs.
In the meantime, should the Canadian sports authorities be able to provide proof of citizenship with a verified document from the Canadian government, the ISA EC will re-evaluate its eligibility for Canada, in accordance with the applicable ISA rules.
The ISA takes responsibility for the administrative errors made so we would like to express our deep regrets and offer our apologies to Ms. Brooks and his family for the impact this case may have on him personally – with the hope that this case of his citizenship will be resolved quickly.