A fairytale ending: the power of mindset through the eyes of Olympic gold medallist Italo Ferreira

Back in 2019 I published a story about mindset, centered on the surfer Italo Ferreira.

The Brazilian had had VISA and weather issues and was delayed flying from the USA to Japan for the 2019 ISA World Games. When he finally arrived at the beach, there was only 10 minutes left in his heat. He borrowed a board and sprinted out – still in his jorts – won the heat and went on to win the event. As a result he also qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Today, at Shidashita beach, Japan, Italo took the gold medal in the first ever Olympic surfing competition.

Would you have persevered if you were in his shoes? Or would you have resigned yourself to defeat and chalked it up to experience?

I doubt Italo was thinking ‘at the end of the day, it is what it is’ as he was travelling that day.

These phrases are heard so often in daily life, but can limit our potential. What makes a day the limiting timeframe? What if ‘it’ could be something different?

Talent has a big part to play of course. But does mental strength. The attitude to persevere despite setbacks. To get knocked down, and get up again.

And to do it with humility. “All surfers made history here,” said Ferreira. “Every surfer has a piece of this Gold Medal.” Now that’s a champion mindset.

Photo: Sean Evans/ISA

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