Kanoa Igarashi: A Man For All Seasons
If there has been one story capturing public attention in this pre-Olympic cycle, it is surely that of Teahupo’o and its fight to not become bulldozed by the international forces of greed. Anyone who has ever been to the tiny little village in France’s Polynesia knows what a gem it is. Quiet, friendly, unspoiled by tacky resorts or beach clubs. The wave breaking off the reef, a natural wonder, just icing on the cake. And so it is entirely understandable that the locals have been protesting Olympic organizer plans to erect a massive new aluminum structure where the current wooden judging tower exists.
Teahupo’o was, of course, chosen as the venue to host the surfing portion of the 2024 Paris games and initial celebration has since turned into calls for the powers that be to move somewhere else over the structure issue and incompetence.
Infobae, one of the world’s leading Spanish language publications, surmises the fight thusly:
Far from calm waters, the prelude to the second Olympic experience of the boards is damaged by a wave of noise surrounding the organization’s controversial project to remove the historic wooden control tower for the judges -used for the World Surf League- and install another aluminum one, larger (14 meters) and valued at 4.3 million euros, which the community of 1,500 inhabitants, surfers such as Matahi Drollet, Kanoa Igarashi, associations and various environmental NGOs point out as highly harmful to the coral reef and the marine wildlife and pressure to stop the execution.
Kanoa Igarashi Everything Everywhere All at Once
And did you catch that? Kanoa Igarashi a Teahupo’o local? And, I suppose, it should not surprise at all. Igarashi’s Man for All Seasons status now fully set. Surf fans know that the sitting Olympic silver medalist was born in Huntington Beach but surfs for Japan and lives in Portugal, where he is fluent in Brazil’s native tongue. Being a Teahupo’o local, though, the crowning jewel as only a small handful can actually claim that status.
My goodness gracious.
Though do you remember the once acclaimed director M. Night Shyamalan’s film Unbreakable starring Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson? In it, if I recall, Bruce Willis survived a train crash and realized he could not be hurt. Watching on TV was Samuel L. Jackson who got hurt all the time, bones made of glass. He had been looking for Willis, you see, knowing that the universe balances itself out. That if he existed all weak and fragile, the opposite must too.
Well, when my bros and I were regularly traveling around Yemen, Syria, Lebanon etc. during the early 2000s to the 2010s we would regularly stumble upon an Arab man with light skin and red hair. He existed in Damascus, in Aleppo, deep up the wadis of the Hawdramawt and looked more Scottish than anything. We would marvel at him, wondering what his life must be like this man without a country.
I was not smart, like M. Night Shyamalan, and did not consider looking for his opposite. Thankfully the universe brought him to me.