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Southern California Surfer Riding Olympic Wave

As the son of a professional surfer, Kolohe Andino has been surfing his entire life, but now the San Clemente native is on the verge of history at the Tokyo Olympics

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The Olympics in Tokyo this summer will be the first games to welcome surfing to the competition and San Diegans don't have to look far to find a hometown favorite.

Kolohe Andino isn't technically a San Diegan, but growing up just north of the county line in San Clemente, he has spent more than his fair share of time riding local waves.

Andino lists Oceanside, Black's Beach, and Cardiff as his top 3 San Diego surf destinations.

The 2nd generation surfer champ has traveled the world, riding iconic waves since he was a child.

The 2nd generation surfer champ has traveled the world, riding iconic waves since he was a child.

His father, Dino, was a former professional and national champion who introduced his son to the family trade at an early age.

"Surfing is an interesting one in terms of hierarchy and respect your elders and that sort of thing, so I was always big on that, especially traveling at such a young age going to spots where we weren't locals and paying respect to the locals and taking your turn in the lineup," said Andino.

Andino was among the first United States athletes to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics back in 2019 after finishing the year atop the US rankings in the World Surf League Men's Championship Tour.

NBC 7's Steven Luke caught up with Team USA's top-ranked skateboard kicking and pushing his way to Tokyo.

"I've been a fan of the Olympics my entire life, so I'm just really really excited," Andino said.

His style, described as both aggressive and acrobatic, is part of a go-big-or-go-home attitude.

Andino will have to be at his best to contend with the world's greatest surfers in Japan, but unlike other sports held indoors on even playing fields, surfing will be held on a natural ocean break giving "mother nature" a say in who gets the best waves.

The Olympics surfing competition will be held at Tsurigasaki Beach about 60 miles outside Tokyo.

"There are some consistent waves there. There has been former WSL events there and stuff. The waiting period is long enough... We'll get some fun waves and we'll get some fun surf."

Listen/Subscribe to NBC 7’s Olympic Dreams: San Diego to Tokyo podcast wherever you enjoy listening to podcasts. On each episode, NBC 7 News Today anchor Steven Luke will sit down with athletes in their prime, each with their sights set on one thing: representing Team USA in Tokyo this summer. How will they achieve their Olympic dreams?

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