Training for the Olympics during a global pandemic hasn't been easy, but Brisa Hennessy of Costa Rica and Michel Bourez of France are still excited to represent their countries on sport's highest stage as soon as possible.
The provisionally-qualified Olympic athletes recently shared some insight into their preparation on the Olympic Channel, alongside International Surfing Association president Fernando Aguerre. Here's a few takeaways:
France's Bourez Is A Warrior In The Water
"When I was 17 years old I decided I not only wanted to be a pro surfer but be one of the best surfers in the world," Bourez explains. "I become a warrior in the water, ready to go out there and do my job. I am going to win no matter what."
It's worth noting, over the years some of Bourez's best results have come in shifty, beachbreak conditions. It will be interesting to see how he handles the pressure during the Olympic games in Japan.
Hennessy Spent Eight Months Training On Namotu During Quarantine
When the pandemic hit, Hennessy was in Australia and immediately booked tickets to their home on Namotu, Fiji. The small island of Namotu takes about five minutes to walk around but the waves are incredible. During the time in lockdown, she enjoyed empty lineups, which helped her train for the start of the 2021 Championship Tour season and the Olympic Games.
The ISA World Games Was Preparation For The Olympics
"You were not surfing for yourself but for your whole country," said Bourez on the topic of surfing in the 2019 ISA Games in Miyazaki, Japan.
"The best part is that we are able to show the world what surfing is. This beautiful sport that can really connect people," added In addition, Hennessy.
Bourez Eyes Teahupo'o For The 2024 Olympic Games
The International Olympic Committee has voted to make Teahupo'o, Tahiti, the official surfing venue for the 2024 Summer Olympics. The high-consequence world-class wave will challenge any competitor that paddles out, but it is also rewarding. "In August Tahiti will be the best place for surfing and the set up in Teahupo'o is magic" said Michel. Growing up surfing at Teahupo'o and having a lifetime of experience, Michel will be the one to watch in the water.