San Clemente, California — For the first time in Olympics history, surfing is an event at the. Four Americans are looking to make waves including Kolohe Andino, who took CBS News along for a ride.
With unmistakable style, Andino is at home in the water and in the air. A performance he’ll bring to surfing’s debut in the Olympics.
“I’ve always been a big kind of Olympic nerd,” he told CBS News. “When I heard surfing was going to be in the Olympics, I was just excited.”
From his hometown in Orange County’s city of San Clemente, Andino brought CBS News to the break where his pro-surfer dad first took him surfing as a toddler.
“He used to … paddle me like that. And then I’d be like under his chest,” Andino said.
Andino started winning titles before his teens. He qualified for the Olympics as the top American in the World Surf League. But earlier this year, during a bad wipeout, he suffered an ankle injury that would require surgery and extensive rehab right up to the games.
Despite that setback, Andino makes it look easy — a surfing pro happily shredding small waves with this amateur.
“The waves in Tokyo will be similar to like a regular beach break,” Andino said. “So I think I have a little bit of an advantage growing up in waves that are similar to the waves over there.”
Drawing Olympic inspiration from Southern California roots.