Tex Hollywood - February 23, 2023
Kelly Slater is the GOAT when it comes to surfing. The 50 year old has been in the game competing at the international level for probably close to 4 decades at this point.
He has won 11 world championships and he's still winning. His influence on the sport or on the multiple generations that have come up after him, many who are the kids of people he once competed against is just unmatched in pretty much any sport. He is a total legend through and through and approaches surfing unlike any other surfer, at least that's what I've heard. I know nothing about surfing.
What I do know is that he will be 52 years old when the Paris Olympics happen, but I guess now that surfing has gone from a backyard grassroots core industry when he first started to an Olympic sport.
Slater, who may have bedded Pam Anderson in her prime has a lot of trophies, but nothing quite as prestigious as an Olympic gold. That's a whole other level of "I have accomplished all there in to accomplish in a sport I helped put on the map".
It's definitely on the map now, bigger than ever and very mainstream for everyone from the tech bros to Jonah Hill to partake in.
He is currently ranked 16 in the world, he missed out on the Tokyo Olympics by one spot, which was the fist appearance of surfing in the Olympics. He recently won a prestigious event called Pipeline Masters in his literal backyard, so he's still got what it takes to get there.
He has hinted at retirement a few times but this time is probably legit:
"If I make the Olympics, I’ll retire at the Olympics,”
He went onto say:
“The qualification process is going to be tough, but if I can get into the Olympics, the location the event is at in Tahiti – that wave really suits my strengths. So if I can get there I think I have a really good chance of a medal, but I think the harder part is going to be getting there, to be honest.”
“As a kid my goal was to win contests on tour and potentially be a world champion one day – that was really the peak of my idea about what my future might hold in surfing,” Slater said. “With surfing coming into the Olympics at the last summer Olympics in Japan for the first time, it’s offered up this other potential goal to reach towards.”
Let's hope it happens, it would be historical!
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