Editor's Note: The love of the ocean is something we all share, and one worth fighting for. Together we can be a force for our ocean. Put your name alongside Italo's by signing the 30x30 petition today.
Born in a small fishing village in Brazil, son of a fisherman, reigning World Champion Italo Ferreira's life has always been tied to the sea.
Like something out of an old parable, young Italo grew tired watching his father fish, put down the rod and reel and taught himself to surf on the lid of his dad's styrofoam cooler. He quickly realized surfing is where his dreams lay.
In support of these dreams, Italo's father sold fish to feed the family and pay for his son's contest entry fees -- an investment that would yield a World Title in 2019.
"I think the ocean is God's special gift to the people," Italo explains.
An ardent believer in preserving and protecting the seas that have given him and his family so much, Italo is a supporter of the We Are One Ocean campaign and a signer of the 30x30 petition, which calls for the protection of 30 percent of our one ocean by 2030.
When Italo claimed his World Title after a monumental day of surfing at Pipeline, it wasn't just one man standing in the spotlight with his trophy. When Italo wins, everyone wins, and everyone's invited along for the ride. He truly is the people's champ. His high-energy surfing, his ever-present smile and constant stoke has become a source of inspiration for surfers around the world.
And now he's looking to harness that people power and help protect the ocean.
"I sign because the ocean inspires me," Italo says.
Sign the 30X30 petition at weareoneocean.org.