Born to two windsurfing-enthusiast parents, Daniela Moroz was destined to make sailing history.

Since becoming the first U.S. sailor to qualify for the Paris Olympics and the first-ever to qualify in kiteboarding, the six-time world champion could be poised to win big this summer.

Here are some things to know before Moroz goes for the gold in Paris. 

Athlete bio

How old is Daniela Moroz?

Daniela Moroz is 23-years-old. She was born February 2, 2001.

Where is Daniela Moroz from?

Daniela Moroz was born in Berkeley, California.

Where does Daniela Moroz live now?

Though she calls San Francisco home, her training keeps her on the move. She spends most of her time in Europe.

Currently, she is living in AirBnbs in Marseille, the sailing venue in Paris, with her mother while she prepares for the Olympics.

How did Daniela Moroz’s parents meet?

After separately escaping from communist Czechoslovakia in the 1980s, Linda and Vlad Moroz met at an introductory windsurfing class in San Francisco. 

The two fell in love with each other and the sport, racing together and, eventually, raising Daniela on the water.

When did Daniela Moroz start kiteboarding?

Growing up, Daniela Moroz spent much of her time on the beach, watching her parents race around in the water. So, when she was 12, Daniela asked to join them.

What sports did Daniela play in high school?

On top of kiting, Daniela also swam on club teams year-round.

Where did Daniela Moroz go to college?

Daniela Moroz is currently working toward a bachelor's degree in marketing at the University of Hawaii. Though she took a year of absence in 2022, so as to focus on her training ahead of the Olympics, she is expected to resume her studies in the fall of 2024.

What are some fun facts about Daniela Moroz?

  • Daniela Moroz’s favorite way to relieve stress is through Mario Kart tournaments with her friends
  • When Linda Moroz was pregnant with Daniela, she competed in the San Francisco Classic — a notoriously grueling and unpredictable race — and finished among the top eight. Fifteen years later, Daniela sailed the same course, finishing fifth.

Career highlights

When did Daniela Moroz start competing internationally?

Daniela Moroz competed in her first international race at 14 years old. By age 16, she had won her first world championship.

How many Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Awards has Daniela Moroz won?

Daniela Moroz is a four-time Yachtswoman of the Year recipient, earning the honor for the first time at age 15. She then won the award in three consecutive seasons from 2019-2022 (the title was not awarded in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.)

How many gold medals has Daniela Moroz won?

Daniela Moroz won six back-to-back world championships between the years of 2016 and 2022. She also earned four first-place finishes at the European Formula Kite Championships between 2017-2021 and, most recently, a gold medal at the 2023 Pan American Games.

How many Olympics has Daniela Moroz been to?

Daniela Moroz has never been to the Olympics. Kiteboarding will make its Olympic debut this summer.

The road to Paris

Has Daniela Moroz qualified for the Paris Olympics?

With her third-place finish at the Olympic Test Event in July 2023 and her fifth-place finish at the 2023 World Championship in August, Daniela Moroz became the first U.S. sailor to qualify for the Paris Olympics. 

Where does Daniela Moroz train?

Right now, Daniela Moroz is training in Marseilles, where she will compete at the Olympics.

She spends the rest of her time training in various places all over the world, depending on when and where her next competition is held.

How often does Daniela Moroz train?

In preparation for Paris, Daniela Moroz spends two weeks working out, analyzing water patterns and running practice races, followed by four or five days of rest.

In her own words

On growing up sailing in the Bay Area:

Sailing in the San Francisco Bay area is notoriously one of the most difficult venues to sail at in the world. And so growing up there and growing up sailing there, you kind of realized that if you can sail there and if you can perform well there, you can do that anywhere. … I love that challenge of learning how to tame those elements and learning how to become one with nature and to work with the elements.

On learning the sport:

There's a lot of crashing involved, there's a lot of wipeouts, and you kind of just learn how to go with it and you learn how to crash well. But then over time, once you start to get the hang of it, it's just so rewarding and so much fun —  that feeling of being able to fly across the water and … there's no sound of waves hitting your board or anything because you're just flying.

On the most common misconception about kiting:

I think when people think of sailing, they think of old wealthy people sitting on yachts drinking champagne, and this could not be more different. … We're going at speeds the sailing world has never even seen before and we're getting wet in the water and we're swimming and it's so much more dynamic now. You need to be super fit and agile and athletic to be able to do it well.