Stab Magazine | John Florence Says His Knee Feels Great, Hints At A Pipe Masters Return
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John Florence Says His Knee Feels Great, Hints At A Pipe Masters Return

The Olympic battle begins. 

news // Oct 26, 2019
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

As it turns, out the Pipe Masters won’t just be a World Title showdown. 

Three hours ago, via Instagram, the two-time World Champion and currently eighth-ranked surfer in the world (despite missing half of this year’s events), John Florence, posted the following video and announcement:

Caption: Memories of a lifetime. Excited to make a project around this trip to share with everyone soon. For now, back home and the knee is feeling great. I’m excited for the opportunities ahead, Pipe Masters and Olympics right around the corner.

Did you catch that last part? “Pipe Masters and Olympics right around the corner.”

In an effort to defend his Olympic slot from all American comers, including Seth Moniz, Griffin Colapinto, Conner Coffin, and most especially Kelly Slater, it would appear that John is officially submitting his entry to surf in the 2019 Pipe Masters. 

Huge! 

Now, some quick arithmetic:

John Florence currently has 33,220 points.

After subtracting his two lowest event scores and including a 9th in Portugal, Slater has 28,760 points.

That means, going into Pipe, Slater would need at least a quarterfinal finish to surpass John in the season rankings (that’s assuming John doesn’t compete and/or gets a 33rd).

If John does choose to compete, every heat he makes will increase Slater’s requirement to surpass Florence in the rankings and take the second American male Olympic slot (the first, of course, belonging to Kolohe Andino).

This, of course, will add an entirely new narrative to the Pipe Masters. One that we’ll welcome with open arms.  

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Can you sense the tension?

Some might argue that because John missed half of the CT season and is still so high in the rankings, he clearly deserves to get one of USA’s two male entries to the Tokyo Games. Others would say that Slater’s 11 World Titles should give him seniority. 

At the end of the day, neither of these opinions matter. The second American Olympic bid will be awarded to the surfer with the highest end-of-year CT total, regardless of age, color, or creed (gender, however, is a factor—shame on you Olympics).

Due to their rankings, there’s a chance Kelly and John could meet relatively early in the event. Wouldn’t that be something to behold?

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