The 2021 ISA World Para Surfing Championship held its opening ceremony Monday in Pismo Beach.
For the first time ever, representatives from dozens of teams marched along the Pismo Beach boardwalk carrying their country's flag.
The teams also carried a jar of sand or rocks from their country that they poured into a large container at the pier.
The mix of sand from around the world symbolizes the unity and sportsmanship the competition hopes to foster.
"This is a dream come true to see," said Dana Cummings, Ampsurf President. "I'm friends with 99% of these people. To have them here, a part of this with me and all the volunteers in the community and the city and everybody stepping up to make this just a world-class event, it's just a dream come true. It gives me goosebumps when I think about it."
The competition starts Tuesday at 7 a.m. and will continue all week with the finals on Saturday.
All competitions will be streamed live on the International Surfing Association's website.