Brazilian Wunderkind Gabriel Medina Joins Oakley's Global Surf Team
In this day and age of rapid-fire information and Youtube and social media, it’s rare when a young talent seemingly appears out of thin air and in the span of a year, turns a sport on its head. That’s sort of the story of Gabriel Medina.
Upon qualifying for the ASP World Tour during the 2011 mid-year shuffle (which no longer exists), he proceeded to win two events and prove that he was more than another Brazilian with a flare for airs. In the short time since, he finished in the top 10 in his first full year on Tour and was awarded the the “AI Breakthrough Performer Award” at Surfer Poll. At just 19 years of age, “Gab,” as he’s sometimes known, is already considered a world title contender.
That track record is why Oakley is so excited to have added Medina to its already star-studded surf team, which now becomes all that more formidable.
“We’re very excited to add Gabriel Medina to our elite Global surf team. We’re big fans of his surfing and what Gabriel has accomplished in the sport. Between his aggressive approach to aerial innovation and his passion for competition, we believe that he is a perfect fit for the Oakley family,” said Patrick McIlvain, Oakley VP Global Sports Marketing. "Adding Gabriel’s name to a team that already includes the likes of Julian Wilson, Bruce Irons, Jordy Smith, Kolohe Andino, Sebastian “Seabass” Zietz and more, we believe we’ve got one of the most dynamic teams in the industry. We can’t wait to see what will come from these guys in 2013 and beyond."
Ever since qualifying for the WCT, Medina has proven that he belongs among the best surfers in the world. He’s already a fan-favorite and one of the most dangerous competitors on Tour. Away from competition, Medina is also at the forefront of innovation, having recently landed a backflip while free-surfing in Hawaii. His range of ability and marketability bodes well for his stated goal: being the first Brazilian shortboarder to bring home a world title.
“I am very happy that everything has worked out [with Oakley]. I have always wanted to be part of the Oakley team,” Medina said. “I´m sure it will be a great partnership.”
“We are really excited to work with Gabriel. He fits the Oakley DNA and will be a staple in our already heavy dugout of athletes,” said Ronny Nelson, Oakley’s Surf Team Manager. “I love his go-for-broke attitude and his passion to win.”
Plans are already in the works to release a signature series sunglass with Medina by the end of 2013.