Carissa Moore leads the way for Hawaii in recently completed Tokyo Games


FILE – In this July 27, 2021, file photo, Carissa Moore, of the United States, celebrates winning the gold medal in the women’s surfing competition at the 2020 Summer Olympics at Tsurigasaki beach in Ichinomiya, Japan. The first Olympic gold medalist for surfing, Moore, is the only Native Hawaiian surfer at the Games. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, File)

When the Olympic flame was extinguished in Tokyo on Sunday, the 2020 Games officially came to an end after a yearlong delay wrought by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

A bevy of athletes with Hawaii ties competed in the Games, but none made their mark quite like Punahou alumna Carissa Moore.

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Moore, a four-time World Surf League champion, won gold for Team USA with a 14.93-8.46 win over South Africa’s Bianca Buitendag in the women’s gold medal match at Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach. It was the first time surfing was in the Summer Games, meaning Moore will always be the first person to win gold in surfing.

Soon after arriving back to her hometown of Honolulu, Moore went to Waikiki to honor the statue of the late Duke Kahanamoku. It had always been Kahanamoku’s dream to have surfing in the Olympics.

On the men’s side, Haleiwa’s John John Florence, just weeks removed from ACL surgery, was eliminated in the third round by Brazil’s Kolohe Andino.

Here are how other Olympic athletes with Hawaii ties fared in the games:

Basketball: ‘Iolani alum Hugh Watanabe did not see action as Japan went 0-3 in pool play.

Beach Volleyball: Punahou’s Taylor Crabb tested positive for COVID-19 and missed the games, but was replaced by Tri Bourne, an Academy of the Pacific alumnus. The USA pairing of Bourne and Jake Gibb went 2-1 in pool play and advanced but were eliminated by pair of Julius Thole and Clemens Wickler of Germany in the Round of 16.

Karate: Oahu native Sakura Kokumai was in the running for bronze in the women’s kata division but was unable to medal.

Rugby: Team USA, which featured Leilehua alum Martin Iosefo, lost 28-7 to South Africa in the fifth place match to finish in sixth.

Softball: Team Australia, which featured a quartet of former University of Hawaii players in Kaia Parnaby, Clare Warwick, Rachel Lack and Stacey Porter, finished in fifth place after going 1-4 in pool play and narrowly missing on an opportunity to play for the bronze medal.

Skateboarding: Haleiwa native Jordyn Barratt finished 11th overall in the women’s park skateboarding competition, while Mid-Pacific alum and Aina Haina native Heimana Reynolds finished 13th in the men’s park competition.

Surfing: In addition to Moore, three other surfers with island ties surfed in the women’s competition. Former Hawaii resident Brisa Hennessy (Costa Rica) advanced to the quarterfinals, while North Shore native Mahina Maeda (Japan) and Kauai’s Tatiana Weston-Webb (Brazil) were eliminated in the third round.

Swimming: Former University of Hawaii swimmer Micah Masei represented American Samoa in the men’s 100-meter breaststroke, while Hilo native Taeyanna Adams swam for the Federated States of Micronesia in the 100-meter women’s breaststoke. Neither advanced to the semifinals.

Volleyball: The Hawaii-born trio of Micah Christenson and Erik and Kawika Shoji represented Team USA in men’s volleyball. USA went 2-3 in pool play and did not advance to the knockout stage despite sweeping France, the other 2-3 team in Pool B, who went on to win the gold medal.

Water Polo: A total of six water polo players with University of Hawaii ties competed in the 2020 Games. Former Rainbow Wahine Dagmar Genee and Maartje Keuning represented the Netherlands and Irene Gonzalez Lopez suited up for Spain. Incoming freshman Jordan Wedderburn played for South Africa, while former ‘Bow Monika Eggens and current ‘Bow Elyse Lemay-Lavoie represented Team Canada.

Spain finished with the silver medal, while Netherlands and Canada were eliminated in the quarterfinals. South Africa did not advance to the knockout stage.

In his fourth Olympics, Kailua-born Jesse Smith and Team USA were knocked out by Spain in the men’s quarterfinals.

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