Kelly Slater pulls out of Brazil competition due to ‘ongoing illness’


When competition got underway at the VIVO Rio Pro today, the Championship Tour was missing a goat-sized hole in the competitive field: Kelly Slater was absent.

Then, in a social media post on the opening day of the competition, the World Surf League revealed that Slater had withdrawn from the competition due to illness.

Captioning the post, the WSL wrote:

@kellyslater has withdrawn from @vivo #RioPro due to an ongoing illness. As the 2nd highest ranked Brazilian surfer in the Challenger Series, @jadsonandre will take his place.”

Days before the WSL announcement, Slater posted a picture of his body temperature on his social media; the title read:

“When my illness started the other day. Day 5 of being sick now. Fevers, sinuses, chills, headaches, stomach flu, etc. Glad I got home in the middle of the onslaught .

<p>Photo: Instagram/Kelly Slater</p>
<p>” data-src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTE3MDM-/ / 798263f377d6e63164″/ ></p>
<p>Photo: Instagram/Kelly Slater</p>
<p>Of course, with the announcement of ill health just days before the Brazil event, the surfing world was skeptical about Slater’s attendance.</p>
<p>Indeed, Slater’s attendance at the Brazil event has been spotty in the past.  He last competed there in 2019, and his qualifying has been plagued with injury absences, curiously happening around the Brazil event every CT season.</p>
<p>Some call it the “Brazilian flu”.</p>
<p>As for the waves in Brazil, while they may be the closest on Tour to the waves Kelly grew up surfing in Cocoa Beach, FL, they aren’t necessarily the best for his style…at least at the moment.  In the later years of his career, he’s battled wild beach getaways against perfect spots or overhanging barrels (read: J-Bay, Chopes, Pipe, etc.)</p>
<p>Earlier this year, after falling from the Tour due to the mid-season cut, Slater was granted a wild card for the rest of the season.  Therefore, the disease is unfortunate when it comes to taking advantage of it.  However, Brazilian surfing fans will be excited that Jadson Andre has taken Slater’s place, as Jaddy is a long-time favorite in the country.</p>
<p>Plus, there’s the Olympic qualification factor.  Sitting 23rd in the CT rankings, and well behind her Stars and Stripes compatriots (only two men and two women per country will qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics through the 2023 CT), Slater’s chances are not they look great  And this is something that he really wanted to culminate his career.</p>
<p>The story continues</p>
<p>Either way, heal Kelly.</p>
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