Mark Occy Occhilupo inducted into USA Surfing Hall of Fame
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, Huntington Beach, CA, USA August 6, 2004; Australias Mark Occhilupos remarkable surfing achievements and the world wide recognition he has brought to the sport were acknowledged last week in America where he was inducted into the USA Surfing Hall of Fame.
No other Aussie surf icon has captured the hearts and minds of as many people as the 38-year-old. Occy exploded onto the surfing scene in 1983 at only 16 and finished 16th in his rookie year. Now after 21 years of being pro and holding the record for the oldest world champion Occy is more than holding his own, currently ranked #5 on the World Championship Tour (WCT).
Fellow WCT surfer and good mate Joel Parkinson said, Occy is an absolute legend. Hes the sort of bloke that has this amazing respect from everyone involved in surfing as well as the general public. On the WCT he is still ripping to the point where he can never be underestimated. Im just so happy for him I think he deserves to be there amongst the names of the people who have shaped our sport.
The ceremony was staged at the Huntington Surf and Sport where surfing peers, industry and fans paid their respect as Occy imprinted his famous feet and hands into the boardwalk in front of the statue of Duke Kahanamoku. Other surf legends who were also inducted into the Surfing Hall of Fame included Peter Townend, Gerry Lopez, Jack Haley and Jericho Poppler.
In the early 90s Occy succumbed to burnout and quit the World Championship Tour (WCT) to take a few years off. In 1996, this remarkable man resurrected his surfing career by re-qualifying through the World Qualifying Series (WQS) for the prestigious WCT. During this time filmmaker, Jack McCoy teamed up with Occy and produced, Occumentary, a full-featured film covering his life as a surfer. After three years back on the WCT, Occy finally got his much deserved and much anticipated World Title in 1999.
You couldn´t find a more deserving candidate than this freakishly talented goofy-footer. Occy has redefined surfing boundaries and proved himself as a surfing legend with his induction to the prestigious Surfing Hall of Fame.
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