Surfer Carissa Moore to take the Aloha spirit with her to the Olympics
July 4 — There is nothing safe about surfing, not even for Carissa Moore, a superstar at the peak of her career.
The four-time world champion raised the bar for elite female surfers so deeply and quickly that she became her sport’s Hall of Fame in her early 20s. Still, she doesn’t take anything for granted as she makes final preparations for the Olympics.
“That’s the cool part of surfing. You can ride the same place every day. But every day is different and every wave is different, so you have to be prepared to adapt,” Moore said in a recent interview with the Star-Advertiser. “You might be the best surfer in the world, but for some reason you’re out of step with Mother Nature on this day, and the waves just aren’t coming your way. That’s the beauty and the beast of the sport. . “
Moore, 28, is generally in tune with the conditions. But for some odd reason his World Tour Championships were held in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2019. So maybe the fact that the Olympics were postponed from an even year to this month is a good thing. bodes well for her.
She and her American teammate Caroline Marks qualified in December 2019, in Maui. John John Florence of Hawaii is one of two men on the US team, but as he recovers from knee surgery, it’s unclear whether Florence will compete or be replaced by his replacement Kelly Slater.
Moore said she felt extremely lucky that when the world changed last year it didn’t affect her as much as many others. She was at her home in Palolo for most of 2020, and Hawaii’s quarantine rules still allowed her to be in the ocean.
“It was a situation in which the pandemic was out of my control, and when the postponement (of the Olympics) was announced, it was still quite a distance away where I was still in cold mode,” she said. declared. “I had already qualified and I still had a year and a half to understand and prepare.”
Moore had planned to take a year off from the championship tour, anyway.
“I’m so grateful to be home in Hawaii and our spots were always open and I could still practice and surf,” she said.
Still, there is uncertainty, besides whether the games will continue despite the apprehension of many in Japan over concerns over COVID-19.
Also, there is no guarantee that there will be waves at the surf site, Shidashita Beach, and “I have no experience there,” Moore said.
“I will definitely be building on the experiences of others, and they have surf cameras that you can check on daily and see what it looks like,” she said. “You just check all the boxes you can and do your best to prepare yourself. And then you leave it to the universe.”
There was talk of using an artificial wave machine to ensure competition. Especially since this is the early days of surfing at the Olympics, said Moore: “Obviously we want to show our sport in the most natural way, but we also want to put on the best show possible, so we just pray. so that nice waves come. “
Marks, 18, is from Boca Raton, Florida. They know each other, but not yet well.
“We’re talking, but I can’t wait to get to know her better,” Moore said. “Due to the pandemic, we can’t bring our regular crews, so for two weeks it will be us, and our coach (Team USA) (Brett Simpson).”
Marks is a phenomenon like Moore was 10 years ago.
“Carissa, she pushed the progression of women’s surfing to where it is now,” said Marks. “Ever since I started surfing, this is the person I wanted to be and who I wanted to surf.”
Moore wants to continue to inspire young girls, through his foundation, Moore Aloha.
“The goal has always been to create events where girls feel comfortable coming together to share and uplift themselves. Step out of the comfort zone, but also be compassionate and live with the aloha spirit. “she said.
She said she plans to surf “until I’m in the ground” but doesn’t know how long competing.
“I would love to be a mom at some point. I have a great husband (a classmate of Punahou Luke Untermann, co-founder of Banan), and maybe the roles will change and I can help him.” , she said.
When Moore leaves Hawaii for Japan in two weeks, she will be heading for something that was truly beyond her dreams. As a child, she was a fan of Olympic swimming, gymnastics, snowboarding and ice skating. But she was already a surfer and never imagined she could participate in the games.
“I always watched him grow up. I enjoyed the two weeks. But it wasn’t on my radar,” she said. “I am truly honored and proud to represent the United States, and I hope everyone in Hawaii knows that I am also proud to represent Hawaii and the community of people who have raised, supported and loved me. my home with me in my heart. My goal is to share that same love, support and aloha spirit with the world on a global stage. “