Teenage surfing prodigy Erin Brooks, has had her bid for Canadian citizenship turned down by the federal government.
Brooks, who won a silver medal at the ISA World Surfing Games in El Salvador in June, had hoped to secure her citizenship and represent Canada at next year’s Paris Olympics. But the delay in citizenship means she has had to miss the Pan American Games in Chile, which offers the winner an Olympic berth.
The last opportunity to qualify for the Olympics is at the ISA World Championships in Puerto Rico in February.
In a letter explaining its decision not to grant citizenship, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada says Brooks is “not stateless, will not face special and unusual hardship if you are not granted Canadian citizenship and that you have not provided services of an exceptional value to Canada.”
Surf Canada says Jeff Brooks intends to appeal the decision to Federal Court.
Brooks is considered by many a favourite to earn a medal at the Olympics due to the heavy left-hand barrel conditions at Teahupo’o in Tahiti. She won gold at the ISA World Junior Championships in June 2022.
The Brooks family home in Maui burned down in the recent wildfires with the family calling Tofino, B.C., home when not on the road with Erin.
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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 20, 2023
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press
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