Gabriel Medina wins maiden ASP World Championship Tour title
- 20 December 2014 | Surfing
Gabriel Medina is the first ever Brazilian to claim a world surfing trophy. The history of competitive surfing has just added another flag to the list of champions. And it's not easy to win a world title these days.
Precisely 50 years after the inaugural ISF World Surfing Championships won by Midget Farrelly and Phyllis O'Donnell, a Portuguese-speaking surfer raises the ultimate surfing cup.
Gabriel Medina was born on the 22nd December, 1993, in Maresias, São Paulo, Brazil. He caught his first wave with a friend, when he was only eight years old. Before, Gabriel loved to play soccer like millions of other Brazilian young kids.
"My mother and my stepfather met at the surf shop he owned in Maresias. He was the one who gave me my first surfboard. He had always surfed and traveled the world. I only played soccer, so he gave me this surfboard," explains Medina.
"They both worked in the surf shop. We didn't have much money, but they we weren't power too. We started going to contests with the money we earned in the surf shop."
When Gabriel turned 13, Charles Serrano asked his stepson if he wanted to become a professional surfer. They started training, competing, losing and winning it all.
"I bring my family to all events because I feel better with them. I feel more comfortable, and always at home. It's good to eat Brazilian food. And my dad is my coach," underlines the Brazilian wonder boy.
The 21-year-old goofy-footer has Tom Curren as his favorite old school surfer, but also Adriano de Souza an inspirational source. Medina joined the surfing elite when he was 17, and has already collected five World Championship Tour victories.
The road to the title was difficult and full of external pressures - to win and to lose. Gabriel believes that, by the start of the season, he was not fully focused. "There were girls and parties," he notes. But as soon as he got in tune with the waves, the winning train started moving.
A big day for professional surfing, a special day for Gabriel Medina, and a historic day for Brazil. Gabriel Medina is the 2014 ASP World Tour champion.
"Winning the world title was my dream and now it's reality. I'm seriously shocked. Brazil is partying right now I think," said Medina.
"I'm so thankful to be part of this, a lot of guys have tried to do this and I feel honored to be the one. I don't know why it's me but I'm really happy it is and I'm so proud to be Brazilian."
"I always look up to Kelly and Mick. Kelly won his first world title when I was born maybe, I don't know. Mick is an inspiration for me, I always look up to him. How he his, so focused, just how he his. Kelly is a great guy as well. I don't know man, I don't know what to say, it's my best day ever!"
"I trained hard and did everything that I could to get here. I worked all year to try to improve and I reached my goal. I'm stoked, I just love everything! I still can't believe it, I think you guys are lying! Maybe tomorrow it will seem more real but right now I can't event think about it."
"I want to thank everyone so much for their support. This is a really special day, not just for me but for my family, the fans and the sport. The crowd and the fans make this all so special, so thank you."