The windsurfing career of four-time Brazilian Olympian (2008, 2012, 2016, 2020) Patricia Freitas is notable not only for its timespan, but also because she initially disliked the training conditions that accompanied the sport.
“I started windsurfing because my older sister loved it, but I began in a polluted lagoon in Rio, and I didn't love getting in the water,” Patricia said. “I have a tall skinny body type that is ideal for my sport, and I got good very fast. I also learned to enjoy the sport because of a very charismatic teacher and a good group of friends.”
At the time, windsurfing was not popular in Brazil and Patricia often had to navigate a traditionally male dominated sport, which sometimes made it difficult to find an inclusive environment.