Seven-time World Champion Stephanie Gilmore was one of the favorites going into the Olympic Games, but was eliminated far earlier than many expected.
Bianca Buitendag, who bested Gilmore in Round Three, went on to win a Silver Medal -- it was a tight match, and the surfer from South Africa was ripping.
But Gilmore, who had the most World Titles of any competitor male or female in the field and who had the hopes and expectations of Australia on her shoulders, no doubt would have run through that heat a few times since the event wrapped.
Could this be the fuel she needs to unleash in Mexico, at the next Championship Tour stop?
She's currently ranked fifth in the WSL Final Five, with several athletes only a few points behind her; a big result would secure her spot at Trestles, where she would be competing for a record eighth World Title.
The Olympics took place is frankly sub-par beach break conditions, even if they were a welcome relief from what many had predicted would be microscopic surf at Tsurigasaki beach.
But the Corona Open Mexico presented by Quiksilver is going to take place at one of the world's great right-hand point breaks, a wave-type Gilmore is dominant in. In fact, there's few surfers on the planet who can match her at a good, long right-hander.
After growing up surfing the point breaks on the Gold Coast, Gilmore's silky smooth style has become her trademark. But we haven't seen a right-hand point on Tour this year, and there's usually three (Snapper, Bells and J-Bay). That won't be lost on her.
Sometimes the pain of a tough loss is the fuel needed to up the ante. For Gilmore, with only two events left in the regular CT season, it's make or break.
In any event, few would bet against her in a right-hand point ... but with something to prove, and with an eye on that eighth title she knows she capable of winning? Things are about to get interesting at Barra de la Cruz.
There's no way Gilmore will countenance being left out of the first-ever Rip Curl WSL Finals, and with the perfect canvas for her to secure her spot coming up in just a few days, we could be in for an all-time performance from the Australian.
The Corona Open Mexico presented by Quiksilver kicks off on August 10, 2021, don't miss a minute of the action.