The surfer who lost a heat and conquered the world

May 28, 2015 | Surfing
Martin and Nicolas: surf friends for life

Martín Passeri, a multiple-time Argentinian surfing champion, has deliberately lost a heat to surf a wave with a paraplegic.

The surfer was ready to conquer his sixth national title. Nicolás Gallegos has always dreamed of being a surfer. But after suffering an accident 20 years ago, he could no longer stand up on a surfboard.

A decisive heat was about to kick off. Martin had already put his jersey on. His opponents paddled out, but Passeri decided to change the course of his professional career.

"Surfing is sharing the experience of something that has no explanation to it. When you share it, when you can really carry the other person, and see the same smile that you get when you slide over the wave, that's a new wave. The euphoria we both felt on the board was awesome," explained Martín Passeri.

While thousands of people were touched watching the scene live, both men hugged while the competitors chased their waves and scores. Surprised? We shouldn't be. Life's too short.

"I've always been one to break limits, and now I've got limits from the moment I wake up. Martin is a role model for all of us. Out of all the places I move around, the ocean is the only place where I'm free," expressed Nicolás Gallegos.

The real life story was part of the "Surfing Life" project by Reef and advertising agency McCann Buenos Aires.