From Outside Magazine: Khadjou Sambe: The Sufer with Olympic Dreams by Anna Kusmer and Anne Wernikoff

"When Khadija “Khadjou” Sambe started surfing at age 14, she was the only local woman in the waves in her hometown of Dakar, Senegal. She spent her teenage years surfing with her uncles and cousins, hoping to one day find a community of professional female surfers to train with and compete against. Now 23, she lives in Northern California, training every day in hopes of going pro, representing her country at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and inspiring a new generation of Senegalese girls to surf.

Besides Olympic greatness, Sambe wants to spread her love of surfing to other girls back in Dakar, where she has worked as a surf instructor for the past six years. She works mostly with white tourists now, but she wants to work with local Senegalese girls. “I want it for black girls, all girls, not just me,” she says.

Sambe doesn’t know what her future holds, but she knows she’ll never stop surfing. “When I’m in the water, it’s as if I’ve never lived outside of it,” she says. “It’s as if the waves belong to you.”

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