Sally Fitzgibbons was born an athlete. From an early age she decided she wanted to be a champion at something. She played soccer and touch football, ran cross-country and ended up a national champion middle distance runner in High School. For Fitzgibbons, all those sports fed off each other, but ultimately, her love for surfing is what won out. She now has a chance to represent her country on sport’s biggest stage after provisionally qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games.
Fitzgibbons grew up on one of the prettiest stretches of coast on the planet, in Gerroa, New South Wales. She formulated her fully loaded approach in the wide variety of sparsely crowded lineups nearby, and by 16 she’d utilized her athletic approach to become the World Junior Champion. At 18, she clinched the Qualifying Series championship faster than any women in history after tearing through the first five events.
She followed that remarkable effort up by finishing her rookie Championship Tour season in the No. 5 spot. In 2010, Sally earned her first runner-up finish, nearly clinching a World Title at the end of her second year on tour. She went on to earn the same 2nd place result in 2011 and 2012, edging closer to her dream. Despite three-straight misses to the World Title her fame was rising.
Sally has lent her bright engaging personality to a number of commercial and philanthropic causes through the years. Even as she began to slide down the rankings, hitting a low of No. 8 in 2016, she’s remained as engaged as ever. But midway through her slump season, she decided to refocus her energy toward a World Title. She shed all of her side projects save for one: The Train Like Sally fitness program designed especially for surfers.
By the time the 2017 season started, Sally was in warrior shape, and she worked her way into the Jeep Leader’s Jersey again after her win at Margaret River and she was still wearing it going into the last event of the year on Maui. But an early-round defeat there cost her dearly, and she fell to No. 3 for the season.
In 2019 she again was fighting for the World Title, claiming the Jeep Leader’s Jersey after a win in Rio, before her ultimate fall to World No. 4. But she had done enough to earn her spot on Team Australia for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games. And as a bonafide sports nut, perhaps no other surfer was more excited than Fitzgibbons.