Wipeout of an Olympic dream for Japanese surf pioneer

This man is known as a godfather of Japanese surf culture: 78-year-old Teruo Adegawa.

The Olympics coming to his doorstep to host its inaugural surfing competition

was set to be a once in a lifetime experience - particularly as he had been asked to take part in the Olympic torch relay.

Despite having suffered a debilitating stroke years ago, he spent over a year running up and down the beach in preparation.

One could say he spent his life preparing for it.

He's renowned for helping pioneer the surfing industry here.

"I remember that I went to the U.S. in 1963, in the U.S. when I saw people surfing, I couldn't help but think that maybe this could be a business opportunity to make surfboards, since no one makes or sells surfboards in Japan."

In the decades since Adegawa has sponsored Japan's first surf team, organized its inaugural competition

and introduced international surfers to the country's unique surf culture.

For two decades, he also ran a surf company, called Ted, which produced surfboards and gear.

These days he goes surfing with his grandson.

"At first when I heard that Japan is going to hold the Olympics and the surfing competition will take place at Shidashita, I was really surprised and very happy about it. I never thought it would happen at Shidashita. This could be a good chance to promote surfing in Japan and I felt really blessed."

Anticipating that guests from around the world would come for the Olympics,

Adegawa and his wife opened a tiny surf museum.

But with all spectators banned for the surfing competition here, they're unlikely to see visitors anytime soon.

"I created this space for people to learn about surfing history in Japan, not to sell things. For example, I thought when Japan holds the Olympics, the athletes from overseas would have loved to visit here and see these photos."

The Olympics’ inaugural surfing competition is to be held just down the road - but under the shadow of a global pandemic.

As the opening ceremony nears, there are few signs of the event.

The venue itself is obscured behind a mile-long steel wall, barred by a white gate with uniformed guards.

Adegawa remained hopeful that the torch relay may still go ahead.

But it was cancelled.

Despite the current hurdles, Adegawa remains devoted to promoting surfing

and wants to encourage the younger generations, like his grandson, to learn the sport.

"I want to show kids that the Olympics is very different from ordinary sports events. Then they will understand (why people put so much effort in it)."

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