The champion is back – Origin Surf

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The North American Kelly Slater, who is about to turn 50, won yesterday, 05, the stage in Pipeline that opened the 2022 world circuit.

The numbers of the surfer, eleven times world champion, are impressive when it comes to results in Pipeline, and in general. After all, there are eleven titles! Eleven!

It’s true that times were different, the tour was different, surfing itself was different too. On the other hand, Slater is brilliant not only as a phenomenal model of physical longevity, but in the way he knew how to update himself and stay progressive.

In addition, surfing earns a lot with a representative like Kelly Slater, in addition to the competitive scene. His contribution to the history of the sport also includes those who have little sympathy with the competitive universe. As in my case, by the way.

I started surfing in the 90s and Kelly Slater was an idol, a surfer who permeated my imagination and made me admire the sport that I already thought was magical for all its complexity.

At that time, watching Kelly was discovering a magical repertoire, discovering all the beauty and potential that a surfer could play, no matter how distant that surf was from mine.

But it was in 2022 that the figure of Kelly Slater definitely stopped being something that moved me, that represented a model of something uplifting. With an anti-vaccination position (behind the scenes, information circulates that he is already vaccinated, even), in favor of the slaughter of sharks, with overly conspiratorial ideas. Today I strive to separate the athlete from the personality, the surfer from the human Kelly.

However, the complexity of beings allows me to understand and accept things as they are, albeit with some discontent. There is no way to deny Kelly’s beautiful contribution to surfing, nor can he fail to be amazed by his physique, his mental dexterity, and his excellent performance at Pipeline.

However, honestly, I’m tired of Kelly in competitions, I start to question when is the right moment for an athlete to retire, what is the importance of renewing the air of the tour, or even what makes a 50-year-old surfer still be disputing on a world circuit .

Finally, I would love to write how I thank Kelly for having admired this surfing idol so much, but it’s not a case.

A remarkable moment, Seth Moniz embraces the champion of the Slater stage. Photo Brent Bielmann/World Surf League)

Source: Folha

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