At the Olympic Games in Tokyo, medals in surfing will be awarded for the first time – and Katherine Diaz had hoped to be part of the sport’s Olympic debut. But now the surfer from El Salvador was struck by lightning during a training session in the water.
Rescue workers tried to revive the 22-year-old on the bank, as the British Guardian reports. But all emergency medical measures came too late. The incident took place near Diaz’s home in El Tunco.
As the Spanish newspaper “AS” reports, Diaz and other people on the beach were surprised by a sudden change in the weather. “The sky was clear and it was an unforeseen storm that didn’t seem to bring much electricity,” the paper quotes an eyewitness.
Sadness and sympathy of the scene
The International Surfing Association (ISA) wrote on its Facebook page: “The ISA has received the news of Katherine Diaz’s death with a heavy heart. She embodied the joy and energy that makes surfing so special and important to us. She was a global ambassador for sport. “The El Salvador Surf Association also commemorated the late athlete:” See you again, great fighter. El Salvador mourns. “
Diaz had prepared for the ISA World Surf Games in her home country. The competition in El Salvador is also about qualifying for the Summer Olympics.
These are to take place from July 23 to August 8 in the Japanese capital and the surrounding area. However, due to the pandemic, no foreign viewers will be admitted to the world’s largest sporting event this year. The host country announced this over the weekend. The games had previously been postponed for a year.