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Brazilian Italo Ferreira will be one of 40 surfers debuting their sport to the world on the Olympic stage at Tokyo 2020, in 2021.

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 he 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.

Sitting comfortably in second in the 2021 World Surf League men’s rankings, the 27-year-old will be heading to Tokyo with momentum in his stride.

The United States and Australia have long been the two global powerhouses of surfing, but with the likes of Ferreira and Medina all in perfect form, Brazil is all too ready to disrupt surfing's status quo.

Speaking to about surfing’s debut Ferreira shared: “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.”