Surfing Today, with Rip Curl

Medina, the 3x Brazilian World Champion, delays the start of his 2022 Championship Tour season.

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

World Champion Medina Withdraws

“The past few months have been difficult 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 entire season had made all the preparations medically (I took my COVID vaccination during my holidays) and mentally and physically. Still, I’m not in a place where I believe I can perform against the world’s best surfers right now. 

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.”

“The health and safety of our athletes are of the utmost importance. 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. However, we will be here to welcome him back when he’s ready.”

World Champion Medina Withdraws

Medina, JBay © WSL/Cestari

“Gabriel is our number one surfer. 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. We support Gabriel 100% in his plan to recover fully and be ready to rumble later in the WSL season. We would also like to tell his fans that it’s ok to reach out for help if they struggle physically and mentally. It’s ok to seek help from the many organizations worldwide which have really come into focus during the pandemic. The other thing to do is surf more. 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.”

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

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