Olympic surfing hopeful dead at 22

 

Katherine Diaz Hernandez, a 22-year-old surfer who dreamt of competing at the Tokyo Olympics, was killed by a lightning strike at a beach in El Salvador over the weekend.

Diaz was entering the water at El Tunco, a beach on the Pacific coast, around 5pm when the lightning hit her.

Members of the public rushed to her aid before an ambulance arrived and took her to hospital but she could not be revived.

Katherine Diaz Hernandez was one of El Salvador’s best surfers.
Katherine Diaz Hernandez was one of El Salvador’s best surfers.

Diaz, who worked as a chef, was training for a global competition set to be held in El Salvador that is serving as the last qualifying event before surfing's debut at the Olympics this year.

She had recently named La Bocana at El Tunco Beach as her favourite wave.

"I just found out about the death of Salvadoran surfer Katherine Díaz," said Yamil Bukele, president of the Salvadoran Sports Institute. "I am very sorry for this death and I join the pain that overwhelms her family. Our solidarity with 'el Bamba' and the surf family. Peace for your soul."

She was only 22.
She was only 22.

Her brother, Bamba Diaz, has posted several tributes in the wake of her death.

"Sister we will always carry you in our hearts," he wrote. "God decided to take you now. We already miss you. Love forever."

Originally published as Olympic surfing hopeful dead at 22


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