Kolohe Andino a sneaky pick for the crown?
Only the most head-in-the-sand surf fan is, currently, unaware that our favorite pastime is officially an Olympic pursuit. Debuting two summers ago in Japan, surfing will be a heavier draw not this summer, but next, when Paris hosts the Games, its outpost French Polynesia the barrel bits.
Yes, Teahupo’o, there at “the end of the road,” will undoubtedly thrill the masses, what with its crystalline waters, dynamic background, waves that strike terror into hearts including that of current world champion Filipe Toledo.
Now, certainly Olympic organizers will dream of capturing a huge audience and, thus, are educating potential fans about the World Surf League ahead of this 2023 Championship Tour, publishing a viewer guide and “who to watch” list.
Stunning those who have watched the game for years, Olympic eyes fell on “The American Storm.”
In the men’s comp, several stars are back from injury including three-time world champion Gabriel Medina and two-time winner John John Florence. Will Filipe Toledo be able to back up his 2022 title victory or will Olympic champion Italo Ferreira bounce back from his 2019 title win? Jack Robinson, Tokyo 2020 silver medallist Kanoa Igarashi and Miguel Pupo are sure to shine too.
Eyes will also be on 11-time world champion and surfing legend Kelly Slater who won the Pipe Masters in February of 2022, less than a week before his 50th birthday. What can’t he do?
Ramzi Boukhiam will also make history as the first Moroccan to compete on the CT.
Beware of the Brazilian and USA storm that be out in force with both nations having 10 men on tour while Australia has seven.
The USA Storm?
Well hmmmm. Who do you think has a shot this year from the land of the free? Griffin Colapinto? Nat Young? Jake Marshall?
I forgot that the Olympics is a tool of oppression and doesn’t allow for Hawaiian surfers to perform under their own flag like the progressive World Surf League.
So I guess John John Florence, Seth Moniz, et. al.