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Here's The Low-Down On Olympic Surfer Kanoa Igarashi And How He's Going Viral For Responding To Thirsty TikToks

Making waves in Tokyo and online.

The Tokyo Olympic Games are well underway and there's already been a lot of unforgettable moments. We've had coach reactions go viral, witnessed unparalleled displays of sportsmanship and collectively stanned Tom Daley knitting.

The Olympic Rings in Tokyo, Japan

My all-time favourite thing though has to be the behind the scenes snippets of Olympic life from the athletes themselves through their TikTok accounts.

Sam Fricker from Team Australia talking about the Olympic Dining Hall

Enter Japanese surfer Kanoa Igarashi, who recently just made history as one of the first athletes to receive a medal in surfing β€” which made its debut at the Tokyo Olympics.

Like other athletes, Kanoa has been giving us a backstage pass into life at the Olympics. For example, here's him showing off his shiny silver medal.


From getting a silver medal in the Olympics to a quick tour to my room in the Olympic village hehe, what do you guys want to see from Tokyo?

♬ Sunflower (From "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse") - Original Soundtrack

And here's one where he gave an exclusive tour of the Olympic Village Surf Museum.


Exclusive tour of the Olympic village surf museum!

♬ Summer Days - Martin Garrix / Macklemore / Patrick Stump

But while he's been catching waves in Tokyo, he's also been making a splash online by responding to thirst videos about him on TikTok.


#duet with @fatasswhitegirl Hey that guy looks familiar

♬ luxurious - cy

In the first one, Kanoa smiles as he watches a TikTok that starts off with the caption, "Thank you Japan for putting surfing in the Olympics" and cuts to shots of him competing.

Left: Kanoa watching a video with a blank expression on his face; Right: A girl who has her hand covered over her mouth
Left: Kanoa smiling while watching a compilation video which includes shots of him surfing at Tokyo

That is until he flexes on all of us by pulling out his Olympic medal.

Left: Kanoa holding up his silver medal; Right: Kanoa accepting his silver medal after the surfing final

There's another one, where Kanoa leans against the air and nearly falls while watching a video that's been captioned: "Watching the Olympics because I love sport, especially surfing <3."


#duet with @lolalaha *leans against air*

♬ original sound -


Left: Kanoa half-falling after leaning; Right: A girl in a hoodie in front of a background which features Kanoa surfing at the Olympics

And if that wasn't enough, Kanoa's latest TikTok shows him dancing in response to a compilation someone has made of him surfing.


#duet with love watching all your guys videos ✌🏽

♬ light it up.. - πŸ‘’πŸŒΏπŸ’šπŸͺβœ¨

The video also pokes fun at other surfers by suggesting that Kanoa is superior.Β 

Obviously, these are all in good fun, as highlighted by Kanoa commenting that he "love(s) watching all your guys videos".

But that hasn't stopped these videos from going mega viral on TikTok β€” and judging by the thirst comments, it's gained Kanoa a whole legion of fans, too.

And like, I'm on board with all of it. Olympic TikToks are truly a different breed and I love how they've given us a chance to get to know these athletes better and allowed them to have some fun too.

Kanoa with Sky Brown, a British-Japanese skateboarder also competing at the Olympics

As of now, Kanoa is headed back to Huntington Beach, California β€” which is his hometown. So, here's hoping that he still regularly updates his TikTok account.

P.S. He also has a brother β€” so make of that what you will.