Gabriel Medina is the Brazilian changing the tide in world surfing.
Born in Sao Sebastiao, two-time World Surf League (WSL) champion Medina, is one of elite surfing’s most popular riders - to say the least. Boasting an immense Instagram following of 8.7 million followers, the goofy-stance surfer has become the shining star of surfing’s new generation.
Nothing is ever for certain on the waves though. Medina lost out to Kanoa Igarashi for a place in the sport's first-ever Olympic final in Tokyo, and was then outscored by Owen Wright for the bronze.
In truth, Medina has come a long way from his humble beginnings. He stepped on a board for the first time at eight years old after his parents went through a divorce. His stepfather, Charlao, was a passionate amateur surfer and fuelled Medina’s passion in turn.
Medina’s competitive career is nothing short of impressive. A win at the Rip Curl Grom Search at age 11, kickstarted a succession of amateur, regional, and national titles. In 2011, Medina became the youngest Brazilian surfer ever to gain access to the WSL Championship Tour (CT) at just 17. Despite entering the tour at the mid-season rotation point, Medina showed he was an upstart on the hunt when he finished his rookie season with an unprecedented two event wins.
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