I love hearing stories of people doing good things and when I saw a post from World Champ surfer Stephanie Gilmore apologising for not bringing home a gold medal from the Tokyo Olympics, it really moved me.
So I went to Google to find out more about this wonder woman.
She’s a beautiful 33 year old Aussie girl from Kingscliff in northern NSW. She started competing on the world circuit in 2005. She’s been ranked number 1 female surfer in the world 7 times since then. Seven times! And she’s been on the circuit for 16 years. Those two stats alone are pretty amazing.
Early in her career she was quoted as saying “It had been all rainbows and no rain”, then on Boxing Day of 2010 she was attacked with a metal bar outside her home in Coolangatta. It was a random attack by a homeless man suffering from schizophrenia.
From news reports, the injuries (both physical and mental) changed the course of Steph’s life. She was losing competitions, losing faith in herself and her own ability. In 2011 she knew she was out of contention for the world championships so she took the pressure of herself. She took time out to regroup, enjoy life, travel, learn new skills, change focus from competition to pleasure.
Then she came back, stronger than ever. I love this quote from her, “For me, the best female surfer is someone who goes out in the line-up and is powerful and pulls into big barrels and gets scraped on the reef, but then turns around and is graceful and stylish and rides a beautiful board in beautiful waves in the most feminine way possible. That’s what I’m always trying to achieve. Sure, we’re trying to be assertive but we’re also trying to be feminine and beautiful, and it’s just a different style of surfing. I love it. The contrast is so perfect.” (SMH 25/7/20)
Steph Gilmore is a new idol of mine and is a gold medal winner in my eyes, whether it’s Olympic Gold or a Kickass Woman Gold.