Jason Torres likes to make history.
Four years ago, when he went to the Pan-American Surfing Games in Lima, Peru, the surfer from Costa Rica’s central Pacific Jacó beach earned the country’s one and only gold medal as a Junior. Last week, in Playa Olivenca de Ilhéus, Bahia, Brazil, Torres surfed his way to second place in the Open division at the 9th Pan-American Surfing Games – a competition that gathered all the nations of North, Central and South America.
With this feat, he wrote another chapter in the Costa Rican history books, earning a silver medal for himself and boosting the Costa Rica National Surf Team to take home their own silver medal.
The team, hence, made their fourth visit to the podium since 2003, when they took the bronze in Ecuador.
Costa Rica’s silver was all the more significant since the team was unable, because of financial constraints, to take a full contingent of competitors to Brazil. Several athletes pulled double duty in various divisions, such as Carlos Muñoz in Open and Junior, Nataly Bernold in Women’s and Junior, Isaac Vega in Open and Body board Male, Anthony Fillingim in Junior and Bodyboard Male, and Lisbeth Vindas in Women’s and Bodyboard Female.
“Hopefully, this win will enable all to see that … surfing is doing well in Costa Rica, so that people can support it and see that it gives a lot of merit to the country,” said José Ureña, president of the Costa Rica Surf Federation.
“We arrived incomplete because the price of the airline tickets was so expensive, so I want to thank the surfers we had and (I’m) pleased that they made Costa Rica the second-best surfing nation on the American continent.”
–Ellen Zoe Goleen
1. Brazil 34632 Points
2. Costa Rica 24037
3. Guadalupe 23646
4. Perú 21416
5. Venezuela 21336
6. Chile 20460
7. Argentina 19773
8. Ecuador 3040
9. Guatemala 2720
Costa Rica’s Rankings
Jason Torres 2nd in Open
Nataly Bernold 5th in Women
Carlos Muñoz 6th in Junior