What if Filipe Toledo's masterplan is to make the world think he's terrified of Teahupoo and then conjure an unlikely gold medal?
In a little under a year, Brazil is going to field two-time world champion Filipe Toledo as part of its two-man team to the Olympics, the surf event being held at Teahupoo.
It ain’t no secret that Filipe Toledo is scared of the place. He is the only surfer to score a zero-point heat there. A moment in 2015 that was subsequently dubbed “A brave act of cowardice.”
As Chas Smith wrote,
Filipe Toledo, with reputation for not enjoying the Teahupo’o battle, would certainly spear naysayers in the throat by dropping in to infamy, no?
Kelly Slater and Nathan Hedge traded waves, big and perfect, one after the other after the other with Toledo holding priority well out the back, refusing to paddle, one after the other after the other.
Kelly Slater, barreled, unable to contain smile.
Nathan Hedge, barreled, unable to contain smile or beat, smartly, boss.
Filipe Toledo, un-barreled, holding priority for fifteen-odd minutes while Slater and Hedge swapped beneath him.
In the dying seconds, the King of Saquarema swung on a baby tube then punched board in channel.
It also ain’t no secret that the Brazil’s best Teahupoo surfers are Gabriel Medina and Italo Ferreira.
But they ain’t going.
And, yet, what if?
What if Filipe Toledo is playing a game of rope-a-dope with the world; what if Filipe’s masterplan is to make the world think he is too scared to paddle into a set at Teahupoo and then, with Olympic gold on the line, create one of the most unlikely wins in Games history?
Chas Smith, who hates surfing, explores this topic over the course of five minutes.