In what is a major announcement moving towards the Paris 2024 Olympics and beyond, Surfing Australia‘s High Performance Program, based in Casuarina NSW, has signed on PHD Sports Scientist and Performance Support Specialist Eric Haakonssen as the Performance Support & Podium Manager along with Andy King as the program’s new National Head Coach.
Haakonssen joins the team after an outstanding stint with the Australian Cycling Team, working across BMX Freestyle, BMX Race and Road disciplines that has included Gold Medal winning Olympic campaign with the likes of Logan Martin. Having grown up skating and surfing, the three-Olympic-Cycle veteran is ready to make a difference in Aussie surfing. “I’m excited to be joining Surfing Australia’s already accomplished high-performance program and supporting Australian surfers towards success in Paris and beyond. I’m passionate about honouring the rich history of surfing in Australia and working within this world-class high-performance program towards strengthening the team’s competitive edge,” said Haakonssen.
Previously in the role of Surfing Australia National Coach, Andy King needs no introduction to anyone in the surf industry. Having coached Gabriel Medina to his most recent World Title in 2021 and experienced the Olympic arena at the Tokyo games, King’s resume has only strengthened since his last stint with the organisation. With more than 15 years of experience coaching at the highest level, King brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the High Performance Department and can’t wait to see how many medals ‘The Irukandjis’ can bring home from Paris 2024.
“This (upcoming Olympic period) is the biggest stage in our sport, held at the biggest and best location in the surfing world. I’m so honoured to ride with the Australian team into this battle. Tahiti will truly showcase what our sport is all about and it is overwhelming to have this opportunity,” said King.
National High Performance Director Kate Wilcomes is equally as excited about the opportunity. “With just over two and a half years until our next Olympic Games I am extremely confident in the experience and expertise both Eric and Andy bring to the campaign. I believe our Aussie athletes and their support teams will have an advantage with them in their corner and myself and the rest of the team are really looking forward to them starting in the next few weeks,” said Wilcomes.
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