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'Everything comes to an end': Surfing legend Kelly Slater moves closer to retirement

“It looks like the end”: eliminated from an elite competition on the world surfing circuit in Australia, American surfing legend Kelly Slater, 52, again referred to his upcoming retirement on Tuesday, without explicitly bowing out yet .

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'Everything comes to an end': Surfing legend Kelly Slater moves closer to retirement

“It looks like the end”: eliminated from an elite competition on the world surfing circuit in Australia, American surfing legend Kelly Slater, 52, again referred to his upcoming retirement on Tuesday, without explicitly bowing out yet . “Everything has an end,” said Slater after his elimination against world No.1, his compatriot Griffin Colapinto, in Margaret River, south of Perth (Western Australia).

Eleven times world champion, both the youngest - at 20 years old in 1992 - and the oldest in history - at 39 years old in 2011 -, holder of 55 competition victories, a record, Kelly Slater, in difficulty on the elite circuit and caught up by his age, will not participate in the Olympic Games next summer. He has already referred several times to his upcoming retirement, but without ever officially announcing it.

Evoking his feelings after several failed competitions since the start of the season, visibly moved, he returned to the subject again on Tuesday: “It feels like the end (...). If you don't adapt, you can't survive. I wasn't totally motivated to be 100% like everyone is doing now. “It's been an incredible life, full of memories,” continued Slater, who however announced that he had requested a “wild card” for a world circuit competition which will take place next summer in Fiji. “It represented so many emotions, for so long. Not everything was rosy, but it was the best moments of my life,” continued Kelly Slater, who was carried by two relatives, as a sign of tribute, when he came out of the water after his elimination and acclaimed by the audience present.

Soon to be a father for the second time, he also spoke at the microphone of the organization of the world surfing circuit “the beginning of something else, the beginning of the rest of (his) life”. At the top of his sport for more than 30 years, Slater displays in 2024 an athletic and technical deficit compared to the younger generation, capable of performing "airs", these impressive jumps above the water, in small and average conditions. His unparalleled track record has cemented for several years now his status as “the greatest surfer of all time”, the equivalent of Pelé in football, Mohamed Ali in boxing or Michael Jordan in basketball.

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