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For the second time in history, surfing will appear in the Olympics.
After its debut at Tokyo 2020, surfing will return for the Paris 2024 games. However, the surfing event will be held far from the City of Lights; instead, the venue is in French Polynesia at the fierce, treacherous, iconic reefbreak known as Teahupo’o, Tahiti.
And surprise, surprise…the locals are looking unstoppable to take home the hardware.
The clip above shows Vahine Fierro, a 24-year-old from the French Polynesian island of Huahine, as she surfs an early season swell at Teahupo’o. This is not small Chopes. It’s well overhead, perhaps even double. And Vahine handles it with style, grace, and confidence.
In other words, Vahine’s fellow competitors in the women’s division of Paris 2024 – including reigning Olympic gold medalist and five-time world champion, Carissa Moore – are probably seeing this and shaking in their boots.
With her local knowledge at the difficult and dangerous Teahupo’o reef, Vahine is undoubtedly emerging as a favorite for the gold medal.
Captioning the clip, Vahine wrote:
“Such a cool first swell to start the year with my friends. Learned so much about the read of the wave and the lineup with @floresjeremy @hirateriinatoofa . Rode a 6’3 Happy tahitian @cisurfboards. It’s exciting to see where I can go this year.”
Exciting, indeed. She could go very far this year.
In our interview with Vahine from last year, she spoke to her home court advantage:
“It's the wave that gave me the best waves of my life. Even if I had a bad session out there, it always makes me happy, it challenges me, and it pushes me. So it’s been a place that I have a really good relationship with.
“I feel like I definitely have an advantage, that’s for sure, because I'm able to spend more time there. But the ocean is so unpredictable and the level of talent in women's surfing has been raised a lot so I think being maybe able to adapt when the contest comes around and adapt to the conditions that are happening that day is going to be very important.
“Being able to get gold in the Olympics will require a lot of adaptation and being present.”
Keep an eye on that podium, and for Vahine to be on it, come Paris 2024.
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