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Beach Grit

Olympics: Japan early favorite for gold!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

A super team in the making!

The Winter Olympics commence today in PyeongChang, Korea. It will be a time of great cheer and veiled jingoism. I will catch as many events as I can, including but not limited to biathlon, curling, the 70m long jump, the 90m long jump and ice dancing.

Eighteen months from now, the Summer Olympics will kick off in nearby Tokyo, Japan. The 2020 Games will mark surfing’s debut and the host nation is the early favorite to bring home the gold. The Japan Times reports:

Twenty-year-old surfer Kanoa Igarashi, a dual citizen of Japan and the United States, has been named to the Japan national team for the first time, the Nippon Surfing Association said Tuesday.

Along with 55 other men, including 2015 U.S. Open of Surfing winner Hiroto Ohara, and 26 women, Igarashi will represent Japan in surfing events in the 2018 season as he seeks a place in the team at the 2020 Tokyo Games when the sport makes its Olympic debut.

Kanoa Igarashi and Hiroto Ohara have both won the U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, conditions that likely mirror the Japanese beach breaks. Igarashi and Ohara also have a combined height of 2m and will be able to do many acrobatic maneuvers inside the Slater-Fincham barrel if the Olympic committee decides to hold the event at a wave tank.

I think the combo may well be unbeatable, easy favorites for gold and silver. I think Brazil will take bronze.