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Beach Grit

Miracle: Mick Fanning signals un-retirement!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Could white lightening really strike again?

Doesn’t it seem like just yesterday 3x world champ stood on Bells Beach sands, second place in the event but first in the hearts of the entire world? Oh how the tears flowed. How they rolled down pink and brown cheeks, splashing onto the seams of various Rip Curl products. Mick Fanning had announced months ago that it would be his last event as a professional surfer on the World Championship Tour but it didn’t seem real until it was over and his retirement was made official.

We wouldn’t have him anymore. We wouldn’t have his speed, his power, his flow and the, instantly, tour didn’t feel quite so boisterous anymore.

But guess what? Mick Fanning might be coming back! Like for any top-tier performer, it is nearly impossible to stay all the way away. The thrill of victory, agony of defeat are addicting. Nearly impossible to leave behind. And let us turn to Australia’s Associated Press for more.

Mick Fanning says a future Commonwealth Games surfing debut rests heavily on the location, and a host country’s financial ability to build wave pools in the absence of actual surf.

With the Margaret River Pro about to kick off without him, the newly retired Australian surfing legend turned his hand to coaching at Kirra Beach on Wednesday, giving Anna Meares, Chad le Clos and Jess Gallagher a surfing lesson they won’t forget anytime soon.

The three-time world champion assured it wasn’t part of a ploy to push for his sport’s inclusion at Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and beyond.

“It’s one of those things: If we have the right locations and stuff like that it’s great,” Fanning said.

“We don’t want to be surfing terrible little waves because I think that would hinder the sport.

“You go to these places that don’t have waves and then if you’re going to put in money just for a wave pool it’s expensive.

“But in saying that, if we get wave pools all around the world you could easily do an event in any of those places.

“If we got there one day that would be awesome.”

It remains unclear why Fanning chose to speak using the “royal we” but no matter. Isn’t it exciting? I wonder why he would choose the Commonwealth Games though. Is it because he has Irish heritage and could surf for Ireland? Also, he seems very very very excited about pools. Do you think he owns a retirement home in Lemoore? I mean an un-retirement home?