Katherine Diaz, an Olympic surfing hopeful, was killed by lightning while training.
- Katherine Diaz, 22, a promising surfer, has died after being struck by lightning during training.
- The young athlete had been preparing for the ISA World Surf Games, where she would have competed for a spot in the Olympics.
- Members of the surfing community have paid tribute to the surfing star.
On March 19, the promising surfing star Katherine Diaz lost her life after being struck by lightning. The tragic accident happened while the 22-year-old was training near her home in El Tunco, as UNILAD reports.
It is with a heavy heart that the ISA has learned about the passing of El Salvador’s Katherine Diaz. pic.twitter.com/7SQCEHPpu3
— ISA (@ISAsurfing) March 21, 2021
Devastatingly, although emergency services arrived almost immediately after the incident and tried to revive Diaz, she passed away on the beach.
The Spanish media AS revealed that the drastic change in the weather was completely unexpected. They stated:
“The sky was clear and it was an unforeseen storm that did not seem to carry much electrical intensity either.”
According to The Guardian, the young surfer had been preparing for the International Surfing Association World Surf Games in El Salvador this May. Moreover, at the contest, she would have competed for a place in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
Members of the surfing community and others who followed Katherine’s career paid tribute to the Olympic hopeful.
In a heart-tearing social media statement, ISA wrote:
“We send our heartfelt condolences to Katherine’s family, the surfers of El Salvador, and to all those in the international surfing community whose lives she touched.
We will never forget you.”
The 22-year-old was struck by lightning as she prepared for a tournament which could have earned her a Tokyo Olympics spot.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) March 22, 2021
Additionally, the Salvadoran Surf Federation also addressed Diaz’s tragic death:
“A great athlete who has represented our country has left us.
See you soon, great warrior. El Salvador is in mourning.”
Central American Art tweeted:
“So sad to share the news of Salvadoran surfer, Katherine Diaz’s passing. She was one of El Salvador’s most popular surf athletes with large recognition for popularising women’s surfing in El Salvador.
Her surfing legacy started when she was a child in her home in La Libertad, where she would compete in local surf competitions and started gaining recognition by winning competitions and later becoming the first woman in El Salvador’s national surf team to go on to represent.“
So sad to share the news of Salvadoran surfer, Katherine Diaz’s, @katherinecook7, passing. She was one of El Salvador’s most popular surf athletes with large recognition for popularizing women’s surfing in El Salvador… pic.twitter.com/MKHPmvCNgY
— Central American Art (@CentAm_Beauty) March 20, 2021
Furthermore, Morena Valdez, El Salvador’s minister of tourism, wrote:
“You will always be present in the surfing history of El Salvador. Your waves will always remember you in this paradise. Rest in peace Katherine Diaz.”
Siempre estarás presente en la historia del surf de #ElSalvador. Tus olas siempre te recordarán en este paraíso. Descansa en paz Katherine Díaz.
Fuerza a “El Bamba” y a toda la familia. 🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/D2F9cd7a6O
— Morena Valdez (@MorenaValdezSV) March 20, 2021