Sofia Mulanovich is an idol in the eyes of many upcoming female surfers across Latin America. Her name is spoken with a mix of respect and awe. Rightly so: Sofia was the first South American to gain a Surfing World Champion title. But that was only the start of the story.
Sofia was born to be a surfer. Sofia grew up in a surfing family in the surfing region of Punta Hermosa in Peru, a country famed for possibly inventing the sport. Her fate was truly sealed when she first visited Hawaii: "watching the surfing lifestyle in Hawaii changed my world." With a whole nation behind her, Sofia didn’t have to wait too long for results to come. She became the first Peruvian and first South American to win a Surfing World Title in 2004. She ranked 8 years in the top 5 of the world, and had two runner-up titles. That explains why she became the first South American to have her name engraved in the Surfers Hall of Fame in Huntington Beach.
Following a long break from competitive surfing, Sofia is now back in the (liquid) ring after qualifying for the Lima 2019 Pan American Games. “I have always loved competing and it is the thing I do the best. The Pan American Games are a great opportunity for Latin surfers to reach the major goal of every athlete: go to the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020."
Between heats, Sofia enjoys teaching and coaching: she has recently started A Water Life, a "Peruvian surf agency arranging surf retreats and experiences for travelers who seek to enjoy the shores of Peru". Showing gratitude for the support she enjoyed throughout her career, she’s now giving back to the young surfers following her path: "it is really rewarding to see the new generation living off the sport and having big goals. My advice is always to go step by step and surf wave by wave, try your best each day and don't get too ahead of yourself, because sometimes that creates extra pressure you don't need while you are young and starting to get better at the sport. Focus on training, having fun and let things flow how they are supposed to."
As the name of her company suggests, Sofia's future is irremediably tied to surfing: "surfing is everything for me, it is the sport that has given me the best times of my life and keeps doing it every time. It keeps me happy." Many happy returns and best of luck for the Olympics! Vamos Sofia, vamos Peru!
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Watersports lover, originally from Hungary, based in London, sea and swell bound when possible!