Sally Fitzgibbons, Jordy Smith and the Postponement of an Olympic Dream

21 Oct 2020 0 Share

COASTALWATCH | VIDEOS

Words by Dashel Pierson

Two historic things: Surfing’s inaugural debut in the Olympics; the Olympics being postponed. Never in the 124-year history of the Games has either happened.

Then came 2020.

So, how have future Olympic surfers been dealing with this rollercoaster of the pandemic and potential Olympic glory? Surprisingly well, actually. In the video above, produced by the International Surfing Association (ISA), we check in with two gold medal hopefuls, Jordy Smith and Sally Fitzgibbons – both of whom are slated to represent their home countries in the now 2021 Tokyo Games – to hear how they’ve been spending this bizarro year.

For Jordy: “Before COVID hit, I was in Hawaii. I was over there training and surfing. At that point I had to make the decision to get back to South Africa as the United States were shutting down their borders. We were fortunate enough to get on the last flight. It took us all in all two weeks to get back home.

“When I was a little kid, I always set goals for myself. That’s what the Olympics was to me. It was a dream. I had no idea that surfing would be a part of it during my lifetime. For that to happen during the peak of my career is really something special.”

For Sally: “For me, the whole COVID experience was wild. A few times a week, I would check in with myself. Like, ‘I feel a bit anxious. Is this crazy? Oh yeah, it is.’ In those moments, I’ve really learned to polish the ordinary. The ordinary is epic.

“I love going running. It’s really well-suited to my personality. There’s a start line and a finish line – then everything in between kinda makes sense. The training can be really hard, but it’s really rewarding. The Olympic party is still gonna happen, just not right now. It gives you that breathing space to figure out your surfing and be fully prepared when the time does come.”

Here’s looking at you, 2021.

Tags: video , (create Alert from these tags)

blog comments powered by Disqus
More From Best of the Web
Pat Gudauskas Ripping in Aus and Talking Surfboards, Stoke

Pat Gudauskas Ripping in Aus and Talking Surfboards, Stoke

A fresh episode of the affably charming 'What's Going On?' show

9 Nov 2020
Watch the RIVALS Season Finale, Who's the Champ?

Watch the RIVALS Season Finale, Who's the Champ?

Australia's best new surf comp and TV show crowns a winner!

1 2 Nov 2020
Recent
Sean Doherty: A Pink Lake, a Fashion Show and Australia’s Most Sacred Surf Zone

Sean Doherty: A Pink Lake, a Fashion Show and Australia’s Most Sacred Surf Zone

3 26 Nov 2020
Nick Carroll: The Aftermath

Nick Carroll: The Aftermath

7 25 Nov 2020
From Air Shows To Death-Defying Code Red Tahiti and Everything in Between – Nathan Fletcher Tells His Story on Jamie Mitchell's Podcast

From Air Shows To Death-Defying Code Red Tahiti and Everything in Between – Nathan Fletcher Tells His Story on Jamie Mitchell's Podcast

2 23 Nov 2020
Nick Carroll: If You’re Waiting for a Custom Surfboard Order, Get Ready To Keep on Waiting

Nick Carroll: If You’re Waiting for a Custom Surfboard Order, Get Ready To Keep on Waiting

9 21 Nov 2020
Popular This Week

The Beautiful Peruvian Pointbreak Surfing of Jaleesa and Josie, Binge This Kai Lenny Series, and a New Resort-Style Wave Pool Near Sydney

This Week In Surfing: Ten Things from Surfing & the Internet on the Week That Was November 27 2020

Nick Carroll: The Aftermath

As the surfing world processes the death of John Shimooka, care and concern turns to those left in the backwash

Padang Comes to Life as Late Season Swell hits Bali

Golden hour at perfect Padang Padang - it's been a good week to be in Bali... Photo: Childs

Go to Top