Controversy over the Portugal result
Who really won in Portugal?
Breaking down the controversial Final of the 2012 Rip Curl Pro Portugal
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 25 October, 2012 : - - For a year that has seen the ASP's elite break away from the Reign of Slater and lead the Tour in new and exciting directions, it seems fitting that a dose of controversy should finally enter the fray. Last year's Floater Gate (Adriano beating Owen in Brazil with a floater) can be credited as one of the first questionable judging calls to set social media ablaze.
But it seems that last Friday's scoring squabble over Julian Wilson and Gabriel Medina's final at the Rip Curl Pro Portugal has out-scandaled even the float heard 'round the world. Website commentary, Facebook and Twitter have been roiling for days now with vicious analysis of Julian's last-minute win over Medina, oftentimes spinning hateful nonsense, but occasionally touching on some key points that, when explored, could help us move past the mudslinging.
The consensus is overwhelming. Never before has the level of disagreement swept so decisively across international borders. Most notably has been the outcry from Australians and Americans, who more often than not are hyper critical of Brazilian surfing, to put it lightly. Yet even many of them believe Medina got shafted.
Here are some of the more PC comments:
"I'm an Australian surf journo and I think Gab was robbed blind," tweeted author and former Surfing Life and Tracks editor, Tim Baker.
Hawaiian heavy Kala Alexander tweeted, "@Julian_wilson you should give [Medina] your trophy."
American Matt Warshaw, author of the Encyclopedia of Surfing, poignantly wrote on his Twitter, "Even adjusting for bias, adjusting for lingering Brazilian dislike from rest of surf world -- Medina STILL won that thing."
One commenter even attempted to work in the famously loutish 2008 words of then-Presidential candidate Barack Obama, writing, "Ya can't put lipstick on a pig!"
To be sure, Gabriel Medina believes the judges slighted him, as do so many fans of professional surfing do too. To be sure, Gabriel Medina is like watching the rise of Kelly Slater all over again, which as fans of the sport we should be ecstatic about, and his passion is a welcomed injection of competitive fire into a Tour that has played along a little too chummily since the KS/AI rivalry came to an end.
To be sure, sport at the highest level will always have controversies -- the trick is accepting them, embracing them, and then converting them into the betterment of the sport. Because, hey, no one likes lipstick on a pig.
Author: Andrew Lewis
Tags: Rip Curl Pro Portugal Controversy