Gabriel Medina is SurferToday’s “2021 athlete of the year”
Gabriel Medina has been named “Athlete of the Year 2021” by SurferToday.
In the second pandemic year of the 21st century, SurferToday has chosen to select and highlight the career performance of a single athlete.
Once again, several professional watersports world tours have been canceled or significantly reduced, making it difficult to assess the quality and consistency of all surf, bodyboard, kitesurf and board athletes. sailing involved in competition and freeride.
Nonetheless, there was someone who had an almost perfect year.
After marrying Brazilian model and actress Yasmin Brunet and teaming up with surf coach Andy King, Gabriel Medina stepped up his game.
He finished second in the Pipeline Masters, Newcastle Cup and Surf Ranch Pro and won the Narrabeen Classic and Rottnest Search before winning the World Surf League (WSL) final at Lower Trestles.
Medina’s worst result was ninth place in Margaret River.
At the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the three-time world champion missed the bronze medal to Owen Wright by 0.20 points.
Brazil’s very first world surfing champion seems to have found a personal stability that clearly influences his performance in competition.
Medina’s consistency levels put him well above his opponents in 2021, and that was especially clear in the WSL final.
The Southern California wave surfing amphitheater saw him battle for a world title against a fit Filipe Toledo.
Despite narrowly winning both sets, Medina left no chance for his compatriot to lead the match to a final surf-off.
Surf fans, commentators and media professionals were almost unanimous on who dominated the 2021 season.
Gabriel Medina was the surfer of the year.
At 28, the Brazilian from São Paulo is at the top of his game and looks capable of extending his dominance for another decade.
An enigmatic surfer
Medina has become a master of tactics and strategy with above average wave reading skills.
His aerial arsenal is probably one of the finest and richest on the planet and, facing the wave, the three-time world champion applies more power than in his early twenties.
Medina is a surfer in the making with the creativity and talent to take aerial surfing to new heights.
If he continues to add layers to his performance, his opponents will surely have to rely on more than fitness and flair to steal the show.
And if you add his unpredictable personality and emotional demeanor to the mix, we end up with a cryptic competitor that’s often hard to read.
The year 2021 was Gabriel Medina’s greatest professional season to date.
But three world titles aren’t enough, and it’s a safe bet that the 2021 ESPY award winner for best male action sports athlete is just heating up.
Surfing needs Gabriel Medina at its best.
It’s time to show us everything you’ve stashed in the bag, “Funky Cold Medina”.
Words of Luís MP | Founder of SurferToday.com