7News Spirit of Sport Finalist – Team Success
Defeating two-time world champion Gabriel Medina in a fantastic bronze medal match, Owen Wright made history in achieving Australia’s first ever Olympic surfing medal.
The pride in achieving a medal for his country was undeniable with Channel 7 commentators marking his incredible road to recovery as now complete – returning from a life threating injury to take home the bronze medal in a world first showcase of Olympic surfing.
“Just look what it means to Owen Wright,” they proclaimed as he celebrated, throwing his fists in the air and riding the wave in ecstatically, while his team- the Irukandji’s high-fived, cheered and hugged on the shore.
Combining to deliver a heartfelt “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie” chant and a rehearsed dance move, the team celebrated the success collectively and with the utmost support for Owen.
The incredible achievement comes after Owen suffered a horrendous and near-fatal head injury while surfing in Hawaii in 2015. The wipe-out injury left Owen needing to learn to walk again and put his surfing career into doubt for some time.
To have won an Olympic medal at Tokyo, Owen said he felt like it symbolised making the journey complete and the celebrations by his entire support team were touching.
“As the Australian flag rose, it just felt like Australia was rising with me, it was a very special moment,” Owen said of receiving his bronze medal.