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Teen surfer Caroline Marks is making huge waves

Who doesn't want to travel the world and surf at some of the most amazing beaches?  Welcome to the life of 14-year-old pro surfer, Caroline Marks.  After starting her surfing career when she was only eight, Caroline is one of the most decorated athletes for her age and will hopefully be in the Olympics in 2020. More than that, though, she's an inspiring example of *just* how hard work and big dreams can pay off. Caroline has hung ten in more countries than you can imagine (Greece? Check. Portugal? Check. Australia? Check.) and is a nonstop #goals girland we were lucky enough to chat with her about her favorite role models, her biggest fears and more.

Girls' Life: How did you orginially get into surfing?

Caroline Marks: I'm actually one of six kids and  I'm the middle child.  So, my two older brothers were really into surfing so I think that's how I got into it. They did it, so I wanted to do it.  

GL: What has been your proudest moment so far?

CM: My proudest moment has either been winning the United States Open back-to-back titles or being the youngest to start in U.S. competion.   

GL: What is it like to be the youngest surfer in all of these competitions? Is it intimidating at all?

CM: It definitely can be and I'm sure people look at it that way. I just think, you know, I have nothing to lose because the girls are so much older, but I still want to be able to compete at their level. I want to be good, but I still have to remind myself they're so much older than me. I think it's really cool though because they push me to be better.

GL: Is there a fear that you struggled with?

CM: Definitely the fear of losing somebody close to me. My grandmother passed away last year and it was right before all my competitions started so that was really hard for me since she was a really big supporter of my surfing.

GL: How were you able to overcome that?

CM: I just wanted to make her proud and do the best I could because I know as long as I was doing the best I could, she would be happy.  So, I put my head down and trained harder, tried to surf my best and I actually had one of the best years of my life.

GL: That's aweomse. And you recently went to Greece because of that experience, right? 

CM: Well, my grandmother was from there and since she was a big part of my surfing, I wanted to bring surfing to Greece. You never hear about people surfing in Greece or it never really gets any coverage. There's not a lot of people who surf there and there's not many waves. So I just wanted to bring attention to Greece in honor of my grandmother and I think she would be really proud of that and me and my whole family. I found out I had like 30 cousins there that I had never met before so that was really cool too! It was just really fun and I had a really good time. 

GL: So cool! What advice do you have for other young girls to follow their dreams?

CM: Be patient and never give up. Just keep on trying.

GL: Who is your biggest role model?

CM: My biggest role model for the girl's side is probably Carissa Moore. Ever since I was young and started surfing, she's always been kind of my favorite. She's really nice too which is awesome. Then for the guy's side I'd say probably Kelly Slater. He's just so good!

GL: So what's next for you?

CM: I'm going to be in Australia for a month and a half. I have three big contests in Newcastle, Burleigh and the Golden Coast. So that should be fun. 

Have you ever surfed before?  Who's your favorite surfer?  Let us know in the comments below!

Photo credit: Instagram.

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by Cali Drouillard | 2/23/2017
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