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Interview with the national surf champion, Miguel Blanco!



Interview with the national surf champion, Miguel Blanco!

Miguel, you have had remarkable success in the national and international surf panorama in recent years. Tell us a bit about your journey so far.

I am very happy with the path my career has taken. I love to surf and travel to so many new places, not only to compete but also to discover good and serious waves. I started surfing at the age of 7 and competing at the age of 10. When I was 18, I lost my main sponsor, at a time when Joaquim Chaves Saúde already supported me and believed in my potential. I am very grateful! Two years later I got another sponsor and started travelling the world of competitions and free surf. In 2018, at the age of 22, I became the National champion and made the cover of the largest Surf magazine in the world, “Surfer Mag”, on a historic day in Nias, Indonesia. This was definitely the best year of my career and I hope 2019 brings me as much success as 2018.

How does it feel to be national champion?

Essentially, it’s the feeling that all the work, dedication and energy I put in to surfing every day is paying off.

What are your main challenges for the future?

Better results in international competitions, surfing bigger waves, developing my High Performance Surf, but also making a positive contribution to today’s society. Using social media and the influence surfers have among the younger generations, I try to raise awareness about the planet’s sustainability. For this, sometimes all it takes are small efforts that are within everybody’s reach. Our close connection to the sea makes us feel the climate changes caused by global warming. Ocean pollution (especially from plastic) is also extreme and very serious, particularly in developing countries.

How do you define yourself as a surfer? What are the most important aspects to maintain a high level of competition?

I am a solid, well-rounded and consistent surfer. Of course, there is a lot of room for improvement in my surfing, which is why I practise my technique and always try to surf on the best boards possible. I’m a versatile surfer who likes to compete as much as surf large and perfect waves all over the world. I know I have what it takes to succeed in the QS and maybe one day qualify for the WT, but I also have many ideas and trips I want to take to practise free surf.

The close relationship and trust that has grown between yourself and Joaquim Chaves Saúde, namely throughout the last 3 years, has obviously played an important role in your career. Can you explain a bit more what that means to you as a professional athlete?

Of course! Not only have I recovered from numerous injuries at Joaquim Chaves Saúde, but I have also done many tests and examinations to get to know my body better and have more information on how I can increase my performance in and out of the water. Building such a close relationship with Joaquim Chaves Saúdeis a unique opportunity few athletes have access to. It certainly influences the most decisive moments in a high performance sport.

These days, maybe even more than treating injuries, there is much talk about the process to prevent them. What do you think about this and how do you develop that process at Joaquim Chaves Saúde?

What an athlete aims for is prevention and avoiding that point where injuries happen, but for that you have to know how to listen to your body. At the first sign, I rely on Joaquim Chaves Saúde services for an assessment. Aside from physical fitness, I get some sports massages at physiotherapy, which also includes osteopaths. Like that I’m on top of any issue associated with my body.

Is there any particular episode during your visits to the Sports Medicine Unit that you would like to share with us?

Whenever I go to Joaquim Chaves Saúde, there’s a new story. Due to my close relationship with the service, I’ve made some friendships not only with physiotherapists, but also with doctors and receptionists. This is another reason to visit Clínica de Miraflores frequently.

As you know, Joaquim Chaves Saúde represents other professional surf athletes. As the oldest athlete in the group, what is your main advice concerning the overall surf ecosystem in Portugal?

The best advice I can give is to surf a lot and focus on their evolution as surfers and people. Don’t be afraid to go after your dreams and travel as much as possible to absorb the best of every kind of wave in the world. Above all, have fun, because there’s nothing better than enjoying a surf session with amazing waves surrounded by friends.

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