When champions give back: The Sofia Proyecto

See how 2013 World Champion Sofia Mulanovich is changing the future of Peruvian surfing for good.
By Brian Roddy

What defines a champion?

Is it an insatiable desire to win? A dedicated room full of trophies that tower high like skyscrapers? A certificate and a handshake from whomever is in charge at Sports Illustrated?

By our standards, a champion is someone who maximizes their talent to realize their true potential and leverages their success to uplift the people around them. A champion is Sofia Mulanovich.

After a decade-long career on surfing’s World Championship Tour, Sofia officially retired from the Tour in 2013 — but not without leaving her mark on surf history. Born and raised in Peru, Sofia became the sport’s first ever South American World Champion in 2004. It was a feat that turned her into both a celebrity and an idol in her homeland. Suffice to say, Sofia had built herself a comfortable life to nestle into come retirement time. But champions don’t nestle. They keep moving.

Sofia’s next movement was creating a project that’s duly named the Sofia Proyecto. Through the Sofia Proyecto, she takes kids of all backgrounds surfing. But she doesn’t just push them into waves on longboards, get the photo and get on with her day. No, the Sofia Proyecto teaches kids how to really surf. You know, to surf like they want to win.

It’s an ongoing project that covers every physiological and physical aspect of high performance surfing. It also teaches the kids about healthy living and environmental responsibility. And, above all else, it teaches each and every one of us how to be champions in our communities.

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