Game it out with me.
I spent much of yesterday thinking about Kelly Slater. Thinking about him on the North Shore nursing his injured foot by getting really fit, eating well, sleeping, surfing wonderful barrels, working out with top experts, chatting with renowned mental health experts.
Living his best life, likely.
Then it hit me.
Has the world’s greatest surfer set the stage so perfectly, so savvily, to make Olympic gold at Tokyo 2021 née 2020 his final act?
Game it out with me.
He would have watched the World Surf League re-imagined, re-launched tour, take form. He might have even been instrumental in creating it, pulling a few theoretical levers. Four events in Australia right ahead of the Olympics with much quarantine and many exhaustion.
He would have known that homebody John John Florence and susceptible to high ankle sprains Kolohe Andino were the only one standing in his Olympic way.
Only one would have to go.
So Australia for basically ever then, and he would have known this too, into the firming grasp of International Surfing Association chief Fernando Aguerre. He would have watched Aguerre, over the many years, angling his position, attempting to grab power and he would have known this Olympic year would be the one he insisted upon a robust World Surfing Games.
So Australia for basically ever then racing to El Salvador for more than a week.
Waving the red, white and blue in front of not so adoring fans. The banana republic years etc.
Exhausting, exhausted, but not finished.
John John Florence and Kolohe Andino would then have to race to Lemoore, California to compete at Kelly Slater’s own Surf Ranch.
Only one will have to go and are you telling me both Florence and Andino come through this gauntlet physically and mentally fit? With Slater, himself, pulling a few real actual levers at the very end, sending the waves their way?
The boy from Cocoa Beach then just has to win, once again, in 1.5 ft closeouts.
Full circle. Completing the journey.
Taking his final bow from atop the podium whilst The Star Spangled Banner plays.