I watched the Tokyo Olympic opening ceremony, this morning, and thrilled at the pomp, the circumstance, the gorgeous tinged with melancholy performance. Empty seats, apocalyptic overtones but gorgeous because of more than in spite of.
As much frustration as there is in Japan, over hosting an international spectacle in the teeth of pandemic, the proud island nation owned the moment and none other could do it better so here we are. Surfing’s grand Olympic debut set against a rich backdrop it may not even deserve.
There is much interest in our Sport of Kings and Jeff Bezos organ, The Washington Post, is here to explain the nuances, the li’l bits. In an interactive feature titled S U R F I N G, the Post uses Florida’s Caroline Marks as proxy. Shall we read one nib?
It’s big enough for her to barrel – riding through a cascading tunnel of water – but also easy to navigate, allowing Marks to build speed and use the wave lip like a ramp, launching her and her board into the air for twirling tricks. The mere idea of this mythical wave makes her smile.
I’ve made it part of my life’s work to make the world “barrel” a verb, as it relates to surfing, and you don’t know how proud I am at this moment.
This isn’t about me, though, it’s about all of us and we should, each and every one, keep scrap books of our favorite grand Olympic debut moments.