After tearing his ACL earlier this year during a heat in Brazil, John John Florence’s dream of participating in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo appeared to be over.
But don’t tell Florence that.
In an in-depth Q&A interview with ESPN, Florence was asked about his recovery from surgery after tearing his ACL for the second time in as many years. Six weeks into recovery, Florence is trying to manage his expectations and not rush a speedy return to the sport of surfing. However, he remains optimistic.
“It is still a goal of mine to qualify for the Olympics, and I want people to know I am working toward that goal,” Florence said.
Surfing will make its Olympic debut next summer in Tokyo. Currently the Haleiwa native is in good enough standing to make the team despite there being five events left on the WSL season.
“Luckily enough, I had a lot of points from doing well in the beginning of the season, so I still have a good shot at qualifying through the tour for the Olympics — and that is my dream,” Florence said. “It would be so awesome to go to the Olympics. But I don’t have much control over that right now.
“It’s the Olympics, the top of sporting, and being a part of it would be awesome. I think it would be so cool to have a Hawaiian on the team. And since it’s the first year in the Olympics for surfing, I imagine there is going to be a lot of conversation about how it can be better next time, and I would love to be involved in that conversation. To be part of the first one and growing our sport in the Olympics would be cool.”