Tandem Surf And Sport | NEWS
There are reports from sources that Sunny Garcia, 49 years old, World Champion in 2000, is in intensive care in the Oregon/Washingto region, USA after attempting to take his own life. Sunny is still alive, but in a critical condition, and those close to him are reported to be fearing the worst.
UPDATE: The WSL have confirmed that “Sunny Garcia is in the ICU in the hospital.”
Sunny has battled publicly with depression over the last 10 to 20 years.
Sunny is well known for being one of the more fire bolt, competitive, strong people in pro surfing ever since he came on tour as a young kid of 17 in 1987. Through the 90s, in an era dominated by Kelly Slater and the new school Momentum generation, Sunny was a beacon for traditional Hawaiian power surfing and achieved great success for it, winning the Hawaiian Triple Crown a record six times, and finishing top 10 in the year end rankings 11 times straight between 1990 and 2000. He is also a three-time winner and five time finalist of the highly regarded and heavily respected Rip Curl Pro Bells. In the year 2000, after going close many times before, he finally won the coveted World Surfing Championship.
Powerful, intimidating and outspoken, Sunny’s career has not been immune to controversy – featuring in verbal and physical altercations throughout a spectacular and colourful surfing career. In 2007, he served three months in prison for tax issues.
He told Surfing World in 2017: “For most of my career I was made to look like a monster. I’ve been in five fights in my entire life and of course they’ve all been documented. In the end you can’t think too much about that. All I can do is be the best person I can be today and know that I’m not perfect. That’s my right now.”
He and Luke Egan were the senior guys on tour for sometime in the 2000s, together they helped re-direct the world tour to better surf and a better deal for the pro surfers. Garcia retired from competition around 2008 and has competed in several other events such as the Eddy since then. In 2012, he won the WSL QS event the HIC Pro at Sunset Beach, aged 42 – a good 25 years after he became one of the world’s most respected surfers at 17.
He has three children and some grandchildren. Sunny has been a scary person to some people, but he has always worn his heart on his sleeve and is known to his close friends and family as a gentle and loving man. They in turn have loved and supported him right back, as have his many friends and fans throughout the surfing world. This of course doesn’t make anyone immune from the illness that is depression.
Today, tomorrow and onward, the surfing world is with Sunny Garcia.
We will report more details as they come to light.
If you or anyone you know needs help, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit the Lifeline website: https://www.lifeline.org.au