Olympic hope from El Salvador: Surfer dies after being struck by lightning

Olympic hope from El Salvador
Surfer dies after being struck by lightning

She had been on the surfboard since she was nine and the next big thing would be her participation in the Tokyo Olympics. While preparing for the competition, surfer Katherine Díaz from El Salvador was struck by lightning and died. She was only 22 years old.

She was considered a great hope of her small country: The surfer Katherine Díaz from El Salvador was killed by a lightning strike. The surf association in their country announced this on its Facebook page. The accident occurred last Friday on El Tunco beach on the Pacific coast of the Central American country. According to a report in the Salvadoran newspaper “La Prensa Grafica”, the 22-year-old Díaz had trained on the beach in El Tunco on Friday.

There had been heavy thunderstorms at various locations in the La Libertad department, to which El Tunco belongs. According to a report by the “Guardian”, the surfer had just gone into the water when lightning struck. Rescue workers tried in vain to resuscitate them on the beach. Accordingly, Díaz was preparing to participate in the Olympics. Surfing is part of the Olympic program for the first time in Tokyo.

She was buried on Sunday. “We pray for the eternal peace of your soul and extend our deepest condolences to your family,” wrote the El Salvador Surf Association. “As a global ambassador for the sport, Katherine embodied the joy and energy that make surfing so special for all of us,” the International Surf Federation wrote on Facebook.

Díaz started surfing at the age of nine, inspired by her brother José Díaz, who is now the association’s president. She had already taken part in various international competitions and won a national competition last November. According to the Guardian, the next big competition for the 22-year-old would have been the ISA World Surf Games in El Salvador at the end of May, where surfers can qualify for the Olympic Games.