One thing is apparent about silver-medal winning surfer Kanoa Igarashi: he was born to ride waves.
Tsutomu Igarashi, Kanoa’s dad, was a surfer in Japan before he and Kanoa’s mom, Misa, immigrated to the United States.
However, they didn’t give up surfing altogether. They relocated to “Surf City” (Huntington Beach, California) with the explicit goal of immersing their kids in the subculture of surfing.
Kanoa, age 3, would wake up at 6 o’clock in the morning to surf with his dad. With their hard work, Igarashi was able to win his first prize when he was only seven years old.
Since then, he has progressed tremendously.
He won the Governor’s Cup at the Surfing America Championships and set a record as the youngest surfer to win the United States National Championships for under-18s at the age of 14.
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K. Igarashi Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
Igarashi has recently qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by winning the World Surf League Championship and coming in third in the WSL Rip Curl Pro.
Never in my wildest imagination did I picture myself at the Olympics, much less winning a prize. I never imagined Japan would host the world’s first surfing competition. He later revealed this revelation to Magic Seaweed, saying, “I feel like a higher power put this chance in front of me to make my family proud.
He did it admirably, winning every match he entered until the championship, where he lost to the veteran Brazilian Italo Ferreira and settled for second place.
His medal has made Igarashi a household name in Japan, where there is widespread “adoration for their star surfer.” This is true despite the fact that surfing is still in its infancy there.
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