Tokyo Olympics: Gold enhances the image of surfing in the heart of Brazil | Tokyo Olympic Games News

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BAIA FORMOSA (Brazil): Brazilian Italo Ferreira won first Olympic surfing gold in Tokyo, and while the backlash in his hometown is certain, it won’t be the last for one of surfing’s top nations to the world, where many are at home on the waves.
The young surfers of Baia Formosa, a small resort on the unspoiled northeast coast, have long been inspired by the new Olympic champion, and his medal given to the sport has added respectability.
“It was very interesting to see how Italo’s medal breathes all this new life into surfing and inspires new generations that are emerging,” said Daniel Grubba, an agent who manages surfers for the One Sports Agency.
Grubba was in Baia Formosa last week looking for talented young surfers to sign up and one of them was Maria Clara Dornelas, a 12 year old local.
“I have been inspired by him (Ferreira) many times, when I compete in a championship I remember him and I do more or less what he did”, said Maria Clara after winning the Maresia Pro , a national competition in which has surfed against rivals twice as old.
“The joy of winning a medal in your hometown must be incredible and even more so a gold medal!”
While the beaches around Baia Formosa often offer ideal waves, beach loading is nothing new to Brazil, a country with 7,491 km (4,655 miles) of coastline.
The top three surfers in the men’s World Surf League rankings are all Brazilian and one of the top five women is too.
Another woman, Maya Gabeira from Rio de Janeiro, broke the world record for surfing the biggest wave last year, a 22.4 m (73-1 / 2 ft) wall of water off the coast of the Portuguese coast.
However, Olympic inclusion and success have given the sport a huge boost.
“It’s really cool to be able to inspire other people, not just kids (who surf), but also other people who have other dreams, who don’t live directly from sport but who have big dreams and who are trying to achieve something, “Ferreira said this week, shortly after returning from Japan.
“And for them to have my story as inspiration and motivation, it’s very gratifying!”


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