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We love you Mick. Photo by WSL / Kirsten Scholtz
No professional surfer has ever had a year like this. Beyond the extraordinarily early mornings, hours and days spent in airports, months away from family and friends, competitive triumph and tragedy, Mick has had to deal with a live shark attack, a family tragedy and, amongst it all, the quest for his fourth World Title.
Mick Fanning has not only had to deal with the past 12 months, but he’s had to deal with them in the public eye. As Nick Carroll explained yesterday, when his brother Peter passed two nights ago, the whole world knew. The whole world watched him paddle out and surf and compete with the weight of that on his shoulders. And, just like the JBay shark incident, the whole world watched and read and talked.
In a post-heat interview earlier today Mick said to Rosy Hodge, “I’m walking down and almost in tears every time I paddle out. Even in the water, just going through waves of emotion. But a friend told me once that you can deal with anything, you just have to do it the best you can and stay true to yourself, and things will happen.”
Mick Fanning could be the best man in the world. Call us hyperbolic, but before you do, think… can you come up with one other person who could not only deal, but in the process, prove himself as such a strong competitor?
Over the past 12 months Mick has become, and will remain, the people’s champion. He may have lost the World Title, but it was to a more-than-deserving victor.
Adriano de Souza has worked harder to get to this moment, to hold up that trophy, than any other person in the entire world. By his own admission, he isn’t the most talented surfer in the world. Even though now he has a trophy that says otherwise.
He’s a workhorse. He is where he is through sheer grit and determination. He came from nothing and continues to climb the ladder of success, with his family in tow.
One of the first things he said in his post-win interview was that Mick deserved to win – that he deserved it the most – that he is one of his greatest heroes. For Christ sake man, you’ve just won a World Title, you’ve just accomplished your lifelong dream, and you’re talking about how deserving your opponent was? It is almost unfathomable how humble Adriano is, and how aware he is of his talent, his determination and those around him.
When Mick was attacked by a shark at JBay, Adriano was the first to change his plans, find him and hug him. Mid-drive to the airport, he turned around and drove straight to Mick. He missed his flight, but do you think that mattered?
“Mick is the strongest man I have ever met, and he is a true Champ.”
You might not like Adriano’s style, but if you discredit his win, you’re discrediting yourself.
Congratulations on finishing what you started when you first made the CT, 10 years ago. For reaching that pinnacle.
And congratulations on being who you are Mick, and being able to do what you did and will continue to do – which is to be the best guy in surfing. We love you.
For more on this story, go to: http://www.surfinglife.com.au/world-tour/14611-a-word-on-mick-because-he-deserves-it
Photos via: http://www.surfingmagazine.com/photos/corey-stories-searching-in-indo/…
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