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Stephanie Gilmore, 8-time surfing world champion, to sit out 2024

Australian Stephanie Gilmore, a record eight-time world surfing champion, is taking the 2024 season off, including the Olympics.

“I am planning to take this tour season off as a refresh for myself physically, mentally, and to enjoy following swells and free surfing in new places,” was posted on her social media. “I have some projects and trips I want to do, which haven’t been possible while traveling for the tour season. I am still passionate and dedicated to competing, and I have goals and dreams that I am still chasing - I’m excited for something fresh this year and I look forward to returning to competition in 2025.”

Gilmore, 35, won a women’s record-breaking eighth world title in 2022, then placed sixth on the World Surf League tour in 2023.

She ranked third among Australians — behind Tyler Wright and Molly Picklum — and missed an Olympic spot since a nation could qualify a maximum of two surfers per gender via the 2023 WSL standings.

Australia can earn a third Olympic women’s spot if it wins the World Surfing Games team event next month, but Gilmore’s decision to sit out this season includes the Olympics, a representative said Tuesday night.

In surfing’s Olympic debut in Tokyo, Gilmore had the top score in the heats, then was upset in the first round of head-to-head matchups.

Carissa Moore, who ranks second among active women with five world titles, announced last week that she will have a limited competition schedule in 2024 but plans to take part in the Olympics.