Held at The Star Casino on Queensland’s Gold Coast, the 2019 World Surf League Awards was one for the books. Dressed to the nines and overcome with excitement for the start of the 2019 season, the world’s best surfers gathered to honour the top men and women in their sport, and look back on the landmark achievements of the year past.
2x World Champion Gabriel Medina went into the evening with the clear intention of accepting his 2018 World Title trophy… but by the end of the night, he had accepted far more than just one award.
Throughout the course of the night, Gabriel took home three additional awards:
- Wave of the Year Award (for his 10-point ride at Backdoor during the Pipe Masters)
- Fan Favourite of the Year Award
- Heat of the Year Award (for his quarterfinal heat at the Pipe Masters, surfed to excellence against Conner Coffin)
In his World Title acceptance speech, Gabriel reflected on what it means to win a World Title, how far he has come from when he first started competing, and how that success has been able to spread not just into his own life and his family’s lives, but also into the community around him.
“I started the Gabriel Medina Instituto many years ago,” said Gabriel.
“And to see how far it has come now, and all of the change it can make in young people’s lives in Brazil… it is amazing.”
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The 2019 WSL Awards are not just a platform to accept the great honour of a second World Title… but also a clear reminder of how surfing can be a catalyst for change.
Congratulations on an incredible year, Gabriel Medina. We can’t wait to see what you can accomplish in 2019.