⬅  Back to Latest Articles

Jan 25, 2022

Medina Takes Health and Wellbeing Break

Three-time World Surfing Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) announces his withdrawal from the start of the 2022 WSL Championship Tour.

Three times WSL World Champion Gabriel Medina took to social media to announce he would withdraw from the start of the WSL World Tour and will not compete in the Hawaiian leg of the 2022 season due to health and well-being reasons.

"The past few months have been a difficult time for me personally and it has taken a toll,” said Medina. “As such, I've decided to withdraw from the start of the 2022 WSL Championship Tour. I had every intention of competing for the full season, had made all the preparations medically (I took my COVID vaccination during my holidays) and mentally and physically, but I'm not in a place where I believe I can perform against the world's best surfers right now and I need to focus on my well-being. I don't know how long it will take, but I aim to return to the Championship Tour as soon as I am ready. I very much appreciate everyone's ongoing love and support. I'll be back when I am able. Love.”

From a Rip Curl point of view, making sure that Gabriel is supported and has no worries on the road to recovery goes without saying. “Gabriel is our number one surfer and we will do anything to help him return to his best personally and professionally, “ said Rip Curl Chief Marketing Officer, Neil Ridgway. “For many world champion sportspeople the pressures of winning at the highest level are great and the Olympics and WSL Championship Tour are tough crucibles to thrive in. We have seen the ups and downs with many of our finest world champion surfers and we support Gabriel 100% in his plan to recover in full and be ready to rumble later in the WSL season. The ocean is a great healer and we know Gabriel will be out in the lineup as part of his recovery. We wish him well.”

Behind the scenes Rip Curl, the WSL and Medina’s support staff have co-ordinated to make sure his health and well-being are first and foremost. “The health and safety of our athletes is of the utmost importance, and we fully support Gabriel’s decision to prioritize his well-being,” said Erik Logan, WSL CEO. “We want to put the world’s best surfers in front of our fans to start the season, but we certainly respect his decision. We’ll obviously miss having our reigning World Champion at the 2022 CT kick-off at the Billabong Pro Pipeline, and we will be here to welcome him back when he’s ready.”

Gabriel Medina will be replaced by Caio Ibelli (BRA) at the 2022 Billabong Pro Pipeline

If you need mental health support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or chat online, or visit www.beyondblue.org.au