Joana Schenker: she is now an Officer of the Order of Merit of the Portuguese Republic | Photo:

Joana Schenker was awarded the Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Portuguese Republic.

The 31-year-old professional bodyboarder received the Portuguese honorific order of civil merit from the hands of the President of the Portuguese Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.

In 2017, Schenker became the first Portuguese athlete to win a world bodyboarding title since the inaugural 1982 International Morey Boogie Bodyboard Pro Championships.

The athlete from Sagres started riding the boogie board when she was only 13 years of age.

Since then, Joana amassed four European Tour of Bodyboard (ETB) trophies, five Portuguese national titles, and a bronze medal at the 2015 ISA World Bodyboard Championship (WBC).

"I truly believe that being able to do what you love is already reward and privilege enough. I also believe that when you do things for the right reasons they can only grow and bring positive results," expressed Joana Schenker.

The ceremony took place in the Belém Palace, the official residence of Portuguese President, in Lisbon. Schenker also thanked everyone who helped her throughout her career.

"I could never imagine that my beloved little piece of foam would end up being the reason for receiving a medal of merit from the President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, when I started bodyboarding 18 years ago."

The Order of Merit of the Portuguese Republic is awarded to national and foreign citizens for their noble acts or services that simultaneously reveal self-sacrifice in favor of the community.

Curiously, the Portuguese President is also an occasional bodyboarder. He has already been spotted riding a boogie board at Guincho Beach and in the Algarve.

Top Stories

Pedro Levi is on a mission to ride the biggest wave of all time on a bodyboard.

Pierre-Louis Costes and Morey Bodyboards signed a partnership and sponsorship deal. The French will ride for the American boogie board company.

The renaissance of the Morey Boogie brand is underway.