di Erika Scafuro
It is easy to associate Gabriel Medina with the Brazilian flag that he has been flying during all the great victories that he has obtained in recent years. The current number two of the World Surf League ranking has won the first title of Men’s Championship Tour in 2014 and again in 2018.
Medina comes from Maresias, a paradisiacal beach of Sao Paulo, Brazil, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. This is where the Brazilian surf champion, born in 1993, rode the first waves of his life when he was only seven.
Since a teenager Medina was a child he tamed the waves to become a pro surfer, he has always worked hard to realize his dream of becoming world surf champion and he never stopped believing, with his unwavering faith, that this was God’s will. After accumulating several surf victories, he qualified for the Championship Tour when he is seventeen years old.
A truly magical period begins for him. In his country Medina is welcomed as a star and is hailed as a hero when he became the first Brazilian surfer to win the world title in 2014 and to conquer Vans Triple Crown in 2015. He continued to amaze: in 2016, during Oi Rio Pro event, were all amazed watching Medina’s backflip: it was the first time that a surfer did this maneuver during a competition. Then in 2018, in North Shore of Oahu he won the Pipe Masters and he is crowned WSL World Champion for his second time.
This talented surfer enchants with his feats among the waves even if he has often shown a strong temperament with not correct behavior towards opponents. Grateful for his life and career, Medina wanted to make useful his experience to the new generations and to realize what has always been his dream. In 2017 he opened, in his hometown Maresias, the Gabriel Medina Institute which provides to young new talents, from the age of 10 to 16, have opportunities to train and support. The surf foundation was built thanks to Medina’s resources and in addition to including surf physical and mental preparation, the Institute provides language and computer classes.
The documentary “Gabriel Medina” was released last January. Directed by Henrique Daniel, and created thanks to unreleased footage, the film shows the life and the career of the Brazilian world surf champion. The over 8 million followers on his Instagram account, prove the world fame of this athlete; a life under the media spotlight that this young champion seems to like.