Are you secretly Canadian? Is Jesse Mendes?
I was such a “surfing in the Olympics” sceptic, overly rude as always, but must admit as 2020 inches closer that I’ve been thrilled by various storylines. Take Venice Beach’s aggressive leash pull, for example. It is very likely that nothing would have happened that day if the 1-foot straighthander, which breaks off the pier, wasn’t the training facility of the women’s Senegalese Olympic surf team. Very likely that tensions would have been muted without the chase for gold hovering like a pregnant cloud.
Also, we would not be aware that “the talent pool among Canadian surfers is huge.” And let’s learn more about that right now. Let’s do it together.
One of the world’s most renowned surfing destinations has become a training ground for a new crop of Olympic hopefuls.
Canadian athletes are in Tofino preparing for a national event in May in order to qualify for the World Championships. It will be that performance that could earn them a spot in the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo, where surfing will make its Olympic debut alongside skateboarding, sport climbing, karate, baseball, and softball.
“Japan decided that they wanted it,” said Surf Canada President Dom Domic. “In just over 500 days, the eyes of the world are going to be on surfing.”
Surfers who have arrived to brave the chilly waters say they can’t believe a shot at Olympic glory would ever be in reach for them.
“I didn’t think the Olympics would ever be a thing,” said surfer Noah Cohen. “There was never even like a dream. To even have like a sliver of hope is a pretty amazing thing.”
The road to get there won’t be easy. Despite what people may think, the talent pool among Canadian surfers, including those living aboard, is huge.
And let’s play a game. Which surfers on tour are secretly Canadian?
Sebastian “Seabass” Zietz has a whiff of maple about him don’t you think? Something in the smile.
Also Jesse Mendes.
Speaking of, which surfer from your home country would you trade to Canada for a plate of cheese curds?