Portugal: Gabriel Medina and Sportsmanship
Rip Curl Pro Portugal
Gabriel Medina and the Importance of Bad Sportsmanship
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 24 October, 2012 : - - It’s been said that I like a good controversy. True. But I’ve seen so many half-truths, faulty reasonings, and outright lies bandied back and forth since Julian Wilson defeated Gabriel Medina at the Rip Curl Pro, that I think it would be a good time for everyone to sit back, take the fingers off those keys and inhale deeply.
First lets dispense with the preliminaries: The judges got it wrong out of simple bad judgment, there is no conspiracy against Medina (at least not at an event run by his main sponsor, Rip Curl, that was won by a Nike surfer), Brazilian prejudice exists but it’s based more in the media and the community than the judges (see “floater-gate”), and the ASP doesn’t have a master plan to promote some surfers over others (they aren’t strong or cohesive enough).
Now here comes the more controversial part: The one truth that emerged from this debacle is that pro surfing needs Gabriel Medina’s fire. Badly. While my knowledge of pro surfing is limited to careful spectatorship and interaction with some of the top pros, I am, as an ex-junior tennis player of some standing in the U.S., an expert on sportsmanship, or better put, lack thereof.
You have never seen bad sportsmanship until you witness a sport in which 13 year-olds are allowed to make their own line calls. Tennis players, most recently, Roger Federer, are a tearful bunch of man-boys and women-girls. They rant, they rave, they scream, cry, insult, accuse, and rail at the very heavens. This is before the match even ends. Off-court they can be even nastier.
It’s infantile, silly, uncomfortable, and more than a little ugly, but it is divine sport, something that can only be said intermittently of surfing’s current World Tour.
So Medina shed a few tears. Baby, If you’ve never cried when you lost you’ve never wanted to win badly enough. These guys have dedicated their lives to this. To have a title stripped from you due to misjudging, and egregious misjudging at that, is the ultimate slight.
Source: The Inertia
Author: Tetsuhiko Endo
Tags: Gabriel Medina, Bad Sportsmanship,