Search icon


22nd Mar 2021

Olympic surfing hopeful Katherine Diaz dies after being struck by lightning while training

Claudia McInerney

The young surfer was hoping to compete in the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Katherine Diaz, an Olympic surfing hopeful, has died after she was struck by lightening whilst training at a beach in El Tunco in El Salvador.

The 22-year-old surfer began her training session at a beach in El Tunco, approximately 10 miles south of San Salvador, when she was struck by lightning.

Emergency services tried to revive Diaz at the scene of the incident, but their attempts were unfortunately unsuccessful.

Diaz sadly died on the beach shortly afterwards.

According to reports by the Spanish newspaper AS, local residents were surprised by a sudden change in the weather.

The report said: “The sky was clear and it was an unforeseen storm that did not seem to carry much electrical intensity either.”

The International Surfing Association (ISA) shared their condolences on Twitter, saying: “It is with a heavy heart that the ISA has learned about the passing of El Salvador’s Katherine Diaz.”

“We send our sincere condolences to Katherine’s family, the surfers of El Salvador, and all those in the international surfing community whose lives she touched.

“We will never forget you.”

According to The Guardian, the young surfer was preparing for the ISA World Surf Games in El Salvador in May, which act as a qualifier for the Tokyo Olympics.