This summer, the forecast calls for big waves and even bigger Olympic moments.
As the countdown continues for the Tokyo Games, opening on July 23, many fans have their eyes on a brand-new sport. For the first time in Olympics history, surfing will take center stage with Caroline Marks leading the way for Team USA.
"This time right now is something I've been looking forward to over a year now and my whole life," the 19-year-old Florida resident exclusively shared with E! News. "It's such a dream come true having the Olympics come to light. It's such a fun thing to be a part of and an honor to represent my country."
Back in December 2019, Caroline and Carissa Moore qualified for the two spots on the U.S. women's Olympic surfing team. And although the coronavirus pandemic postponed the games, Caroline is more determined than ever before to medal for her family.
"My family is everything to me," she shared before competing in this weekend's Jeep Surf Ranch Pro. "That's what makes this journey so special for me is because I can share it with them. I have five other siblings and the reason I got into surfing is because of my older brothers and they're all my best friends. No matter where we are in the world, we always talk. I talk to them every single day and I can just feel the support halfway across the world or right with them."
To accomplish her dreams, Caroline tries to follow a paleo diet. "It doesn't mean I eat steak all day," she joked. "But a lot of protein and some good fats."
She also started home schooling at sixth grade, after realizing her travel schedule was getting busier. In 2020, Caroline graduated from high school and called it the "highlight" of her year.
"My teenage years were different than your average person, but I don't feel like I missed out at all to be honest," she shared. "What I'm doing right now is everything I want to be doing. I'm living my dream and I definitely don't think I'm missing out. My life is different, but I wouldn't change it for the world."
As old and new fans discover the world of surfing in a fresh way, Caroline hopes to serve as a role model for young girls watching.
"With surfing, it's such a unique sport," she explained. "It's one of the only sports where you rely on mother nature and I think that's what makes it so hard."
Regardless of what your passion is, Caroline is the first to push young girls to do what they love and love what they do.
"No matter what path you choose in life, whether it's surfing or not surfing, do what makes you happy," she encouraged. "I feel like I'm living my dream and every day I wake up, I crave to surf. It's so incredible I get to do that as my job and career. Shoot for the stars, try your hardest, you only live once—YOLO. Try your hardest, give it your all and have fun with it."
Watch Caroline compete at the Jeep Surf Ranch Pro presented by Adobe June 18-20 live on the World Surf League's website.