The news just keeps getting better for surf fans. Days after the World Surf League announced that Owen Wright, ruthlessly axed from the Championship Tour just last year, would make a grand and glorious return as a wildcard at Bells Beach in order to announce his retirement.
“After my traumatic brain injury in 2015, my desire to prove to myself and the world that I could still be great and overcome this life-threatening incident inspired my recovery,” the blonde thirty-three-year-old said in a WSL statement. “Given my recent history with head injuries and concussions, competing at some of the heaviest waves on the planet is no longer in the best interest of my long-term health.I excelled in these conditions over my career, but the risks associated with this type of surfing are too significant for someone in my position, given my medical history.”
Not a dry eye in the house and certain to be much weeping and sobbing up and down those iconic Bells’ stairs.
As if not wonderful enough, though, it has just been announced that Wright is set to release a memoir titled Against the Water described as “the gut-wrenching, heroic story of how one of Australia’s finest surfers overcame brain injury and despair to win an Olympic medal.”
Per the press release:
Against the Water carries the reader back to Wright’s boyhood in the tiny New South Wales South Coast town of Culburra, where his father, Rob, determined to raise champions, turned family life into a kind of boot camp. While eccentric, the father’s methods bore fruit: the Wrights of Culburra would become Australian surfing royalty. Wright’s story lays bare the complex relationship with his father – the adoration, the fight for independence, the fallings out, the reconciliations, the poignant denouement. It also captures Wright’s life-altering love for Kita Alexander, the beautiful songstress who abandoned a blooming career to help nurse a broken man she’d known for a few short months back to health.
Told in a spare, intimate style, Against the Water is the moving account of an athlete who refused to accept that his best days were behind him. Owen stopped at nothing not only to rebuild his identity but to construct a better one – he’s now a husband, father, dutiful son and an Olympic medallist in a sport whose spirit courses through his veins. Against the Water also raises fundamental questions around family and competition. What, ultimately, is our duty to our children? At what point does bravery become folly? How much should we sacrifice for the sake of another? Once read, Wright’s story will not be forgotten.
What do you think re. the question about duty to children? Also, the one about bravery and folly?
It does not appear that Wright used a ghostwriter making the spare, intimate style all the more impressive.
Sleepless nights until the drop.