Last week, current world number one professional surfer Filipe Toledo thrilled his countrymen by winning the 2022 Oi Rio Pro in front of a throng World Surf League CEO declared to number in the twenty-thousands. He was passed, shoulder to shoulder, all the way to the stage where roars drowned out anything Chris Cote was attempting to say.
A beautiful moment and one, days later, Toledo would ink upon his lower calf in commemoration.
The tattoo featured a lovely hillside church, four palm trees, a barreling right with a thick, foamy lip and the years 2018, 2019, 2022 underneath.
Surf fans immediately grew concerned. Yes, Toledo had won the Oi Rio Pro in 2018, 2019 and 2022 but he also won it in 2015. A four time champion.
Why had 2015 been disappeared?
A simple accounting mistake?
Early onset dementia?
A cryptic numerological message meant to signify some great, likely troubling prophecy?
As panic begin to set, one brave surf journalist took it upon himself to solve the sphinx-like riddle thereby comforting millions.
The background scene is, very clearly, Saquarema. There is no Sugarloaf nor Christ the Redeemer. No festival nor Morro da Urca. Very clearly not Rio de Janeiro proper and, even though the event is named Oi Rio Pro only the 2015 event was contested on those sands. 2018, 2019 and 2022 were all out front the aforementioned Saquarema. I would imagine that Toledo has another tattoo celebrating his first victory, somewhere else on his body, and, aside from mass shootings, assassinations, war, pestilence all is right with the world.