Italo FERREIRA

Brazil BRA

Surfing

  • Olympic Medals
    1 G
  • First Olympic Games
    Tokyo 2020
  • Year of Birth
    1994
Olympic Results

Biography

Italo FERREIRA

Brazilian Italo Ferreira is thankful for the kindness of cousins after winning gold on surfing's debut at Tokyo 2020.

When high-flying surfer Ferreira, well known for his aerial game, first got into surfing he didn’t have any boards of his own. In order to get out on the water the fisherman's son was forced to borrow boards from his cousins who were luckily all too happy to help.

At 12 years old the young surfer’s life completely changed when he was discovered by legendary Brazilian surge coach, Luis ‘Pinga’ Campos. Campos, who is responsible for unearthing nearly every notable Brazilian of the last 10 years, identified Ferreira’s potential at a junior contest in Ponta Negra.

Campos quickly took the young talent under his wing and by 2011, the Brazilian was competing at the Junior World Championships, winning two rounds and finishing runner-up in the overall category. In 2015 he made the giant leap from the onto the World Championship Tour - the elite arena of surfing - and in his rookie season he began catching everyone’s attention. Ferreira won the “Rookie of The Year” award after his 7th place finish on the tour.

Off the back of three tour wins in 2018, the surfer from Baía Formosa went into the 2019 season brimming in confidence. He kickstarted the tour with a win on the Gold Coash, then went on to bank a second-place finish in South Africa and France, before coming first again in Portugal. The final event of the year in Hawaii, the infamous Billabong Pipeline Masters, was hotly contested between Ferreira and fellow countryman Gabriel Medina. Fortunately for Ferreira he emerged the victor of the two, and with it came not just the tour win but also the world championship.

The United States and Australia have long been the two global powerhouses of surfing, but with the likes of Ferreira and Medina in perfect form, Brazil has disrupted surfing's status quo - with Japan following suit thanks to Kanoa Igarashi's silver at the Olympics.

Speaking to Olympics.com before surfing’s debut Ferreira said: “I think (the Olympics) are another world, ‘out of every rule’. Everything about this competition is special, it’s a huge event, the whole world will be connected to it. I’m going to have a big chance to show my talent to the people following the event.”

He certainly did that.

The final against Igarashi saw Ferreira break a board. But he calmly picked up another (not from a cousin this time) and overcame the challenging choppy conditions to score 15.4, and carry the first men's surfing Olympic gold back to Brazil - doing a backflip off the top of the podium just for good measure.

Olympic Results

More results
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Tokyo 2020

G
Men
Men Surfing