Gabriel Medina welcomed as a hero in Maresias

December 26, 2018 | Surfing
Gabriel Medina: he was surrounded by fans at his arrival in Maresias | Photo: Kaique Silva/WSL

The 2018 World Surf League (WSL) champion was welcomed in Brazil as a national hero.

Gabriel Medina has finally arrived home. The newly crowned world surfing champion was greeted, first at the airport in São Paulo, and later in his hometown of Maresias, as a superstar.

Thousands of fans and hundreds of media professionals had the opportunity to meet, photograph, and even get an autograph from the two-time world champion.

Medina, who also won the 2018 Billabong Pipe Masters, first commemorated his world title at a private party with friends, family, and Brazilian celebrities such as football player Neymar Junior.

Then, Gabriel Medina rode atop a firetruck down the main avenue of Maresias surrounded by a massive crowd of fans.

When he arrived at a stage installed for the celebrations, the 25-year-old surfer had nothing but words of gratitude.

"Thank you, everyone, for coming out, and for cheering me on. I've no words to express what it feels to be welcomed home like this. It's incredible!" expressed Medina.

"I am just a kid from Maresias who had big dreams. I remember surfing right in front of this square my entire childhood. I've worked hard to achieve my goals, and I'm grateful to be living my dream. It is an honor to represent Maresias and Brazil all over the world."

But Gabriel Medina has no plans to slow down. The Brazilian has his eyes on Tokyo 2020.

"2019 is going to be important because it's the year we get the chance to qualify for the Olympics in 2020. And my goal has always been to become a three-time world champion," concluded Medina.

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