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Despite rougher-than-expected seas off the Japanese coast on July 27, American surfing phenom Carissa Moore (@rissmoore10) owned the waves. The four-time world champion and top-ranked women's surfer in the world defeated Bianca Buitendag of South Africa in the finals of the women's Olympic surfing competition at the Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach, two hours east of Tokyo, to win the first-ever women's Olympic surfing gold medal. The final took place under threatening clouds, @sgregory31 reports from Ichinomiya, but conditions held up. After a while—in a fitting tribute to Moore, who hails from Hawaii—even a rainbow appeared. Competitors in the final essentially alternated riding waves over a 35-minute heat; one surfer is given priority on a wave, though an opponent is free to ride it if the surfer with priority chooses not to. A surfer's two highest-scoring waves—each is scored on a scale of 1-10—are combined for an overall total; judges evaluate performance based on criteria like innovative and progressive maneuvers, variety, and speed, power and flow. Moore won with a score of 14.93; for each of her big scoring waves—a 7.60 and 7.33—she glided and twisted and turned above the crest. "The ocean has changed my life," says Moore, 28. "I can't imagine my life without it. I'll be surfing until I'm in the ground. Riding a wave makes you feel free. It makes you feel present and it makes you, I think, feel more in love with the ocean and yourself." Read more at the link in bio. Photographs by @ryanpierse—@gettyimages
Mun Sung, left, and Joyce Sung, center, stand with their 35-year-old son Mark Sung, right, in the family's Charlotte, N.C., convenience store on May 29. The elder Sungs watched helplessly on March 30 as a man smashed through glass with a metal pole, ripped down racks and hurled racial slurs at them inside the store they've owned for two decades. Despite facing racism at work on a daily basis since the pandemic began—even growing hardened to the hatred month after month—Mun, 65, never expected his family would fall victim to such violence. Less than two months later, it happened again. On May 25, after being told he did not have enough money for cigarettes, a customer shouted racial slurs as he pummeled a sheet of plexiglass at the checkout counter until it shattered on Joyce, 63, bruising her forehead. "Knowing that we're going to get cursed out every day while we're getting ready for work," she says, pausing to think, "we don't know what words to use." The pandemic drove down sales at the store by about 45%—and all their employees quit over safety concerns—so the Sungs say they don't have the luxury to stop working, writes Melissa Chan. Instead, they clock in 13-hour days, seven days a week, and have developed a routine for responding to hate: call the police, assess the damage, file an insurance claim, then go back to work. It's not the life Mun imagined for himself or his family when he left South Korea for the U.S. in 1983. But he and Joyce keep going, in large part to have some money to leave for Mark's two toddlers, their only grandchildren. "The first time I came to the United States, I had big dreams and high hopes," Mun says. "I didn't make it, but I still wish for a better life." Read more at the link in bio. Photograph by Emanuel Hahn (@hahnbo) for TIME
Carl Chan, center, sits with his daughters Crystal Chan, right, and Emerald Chan, left, and his wife Eleanore Tang, above, at home in Alameda, Calif., on May 18. As president of the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, Carl, 62, has long made the protection of local elders a priority in his work. When attacks against Asian Americans started increasing in 2020, writes Melissa Chan, he ramped up his efforts, handing out whistles and air horns to anyone on the street who would take them. "We respect the elderly," he says. "To me, to us, to our community, it is the worst when they are attacking our seniors." On April 29, when Carl was on his way to visit an older Asian man who had been assaulted on a bus, he also fell victim to an unprovoked attack. He remembers hearing a man screaming and yelling a racial slur. Then he describes "a quick punch to my head." Crystal said the emotions overwhelmed her quickly; first shock, then anger and sadness. She and her sister, who live across the country in New York, flew home as soon as they could. "It's not easy for our family, especially [when] the ones close to you become the victim," Eleanore says. "It's so hard. It's so hard." But Carl, scraped and bruised, emerged from the attack even more determined. On May 15, he walked side by side with his daughters and wife in a "Unity Against Hate" rally that he helped organize. "While he was physically assaulted, he isn’t a victim," says Emerald, 24. "He's showing that he's strong." Read more at the link in bio. Photograph by Emanuel Hahn (@hahnbo) for TIME
Elizabeth Kari, 32, closes her eyes as she holds her mother Vilma Kari, 66, inside her lower-Manhattan apartment building on May 21. It's a rare moment of rest for Elizabeth, who took a two-month leave from her fashion-industry job to be her mother's caretaker after Vilma was brutally attacked, writes Melissa Chan. On March 29, while she was walking to church, a man kicked her to the ground, stomped on her face and shouted, "You don't belong here!" Because Vilma suffered serious injuries including a fractured pelvis, Elizabeth, her only child, moved her mother into her home and had to help her with basic tasks like sitting up, using the bathroom, even slowly adjusting her legs, inch by inch, to find less painful positions. "The first week, every movement she made was with me," says Elizabeth, who also assumed the role of her mother's emotional bodyguard, initially shielding her from any news coverage of the high-profile attack, which Vilma is still processing. "This, I feel, is the scariest time for me to be an Asian," says Vilma, who moved to the U.S. from the Philippines nearly 40 years ago. "I never felt that before." In May, Elizabeth created a campaign called AAP(I belong) in her mother's honor to allow people who have encountered anti-Asian hate to anonymously share their stories online—and to subvert the attacker’s racist phrase. "I don't think it's anyone's right to tell anyone they don't belong in America. That's the cornerstone of what America is," Elizabeth says. "And that's what makes America so beautiful." Read more at the link in bio. Photograph by Emanuel Hahn (@hahnbo) for TIME