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by Sean Doherty

We’re talking scars and Michel Bourez has plenty. He’s got two big fleshy white crescents on his left shoulder, another slash of scar tissue on his right, and his broad Polynesian feet are a road map of intersecting scratches, tears and holes from reef dancing at home in Tahiti. He shows me his ankle and tells me there are still bits of reef in there and he’s going to lance it when he gets home and fossick around to find them. “The only good thing about flying on a plane is that it’s the only chance my cuts have to dry out.” He’s just landed in Fiji, a short jump across the Pacific pond, ready for the next event in a season he’s dominating, having won two events from four, the first wins of his career. The quiet Tahitian has come to life this year, and the idea of a Tahitian winning the world title suddenly isn’t as crazy as it might sound.

SE: What’s the Tahitian word for “winning”?

MB: Umm… we don’t really have a name for that I think.


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