Thanks to faith and prayer, this Brazilian surfer triumphed against the odds to win the first-ever surfing gold medal in the Olympics.
Brazilian Ítalo Ferreira recently made history. He’s the first ever athlete to win gold in surfing, a sport that just debuted at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Ítalo was also the first athlete to win a gold medal for Brazil in these Olympics.
After his victory, the athlete revealed one of the “secrets” for winning the top medal. In an interview with a sports journalist from the Globo Brazilian TV network, he said:
I came with a phrase to Japan: ‘Say amen, because the gold is coming.’ And it did. I believed until the end, I trained a lot in the last months and God made my dream come true. I just have to thank God first of all …”
The athlete, who is 27 years old, also said that the phrase “Say amen, because the gold is coming” (which has a catchy rhyme in his native Portuguese) is taped up next to his bed. In addition, he revealed a detail of his recent prayer life: “Every day I prayed at 3 a.m., I asked God to make my dream come true. And there it is, my name is written in the history of surfing.”
Ítalo Ferreira was born in Baía Formosa, a small town on the northeastern coast of Brazil. He is the son of Luisinho, a fisherman, and Katiana, an innkeeper.
At the beginning of his career, he used to borrow money from hotels and inns to supplement the amount his parents gave him. This system was the only way he could participate in surf championships.
In fact, he started surfing with a Styrofoam board, because he didn’t have money to buy a professional one.
Later, when he started winning prizes, including international ones, he kept all the money so he could buy a house for his parents. And he did! On his Instagram profile, he shares his victories, thanks, and faith.