The recent episode of ABC’s Australian Story titled “All for the Family” featured Tyler Wright’s 2016 World Title campaign while shedding light on the details of her brother Owen’s accident.
It could be recalled that after Owen Wright’s 2015 head injury, there wasn’t much details about what he has gone through. Back then, it appeared that his career may be over if he could not recover.
The episode has shown home videos of the Wright siblings surfing from when they were young. It depicts a story of these siblings evolving to World Tour competitors and younger brother Mikey becoming a free surfing icon. But the main focus of the feature episode began at Pipeline back in 2015. Mick Fanning shared his own account of that day:
“Owen and I’ve ran out together, and because Owen and I surf differently, I went straight out the back, and Owen sat, you know, right in the heaviest part,” recalled Fanning. “When the next wave came, he was probably about 10 feet in front of me. And we both just duckdived it. And, you know, I got ragdolled and shaken around a fair bit. As I came up, I didn’t see him. I was like hang on, and I looked back and he was 20 feet behind me. I didn’t really think anything of it. I just thought, oh maybe he got stuck in the wrong spot or something like that. We both walked up the beach together and he seemed perfectly fine.”
And as many of us already know, later on, Owen woke up feeling disoriented, went to the hospital and got diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury and a minor brain bleed. The event caused Owen to withdraw from the Pipe Masters where he was in contention for the world title race.
But that tragedy caused Tyler to gather up inspiration to win the world title in 2016. While her brother had fully withdrawn from the 2016 world tour and was recovering, Tyler mustered enough motivation to work hard and bring the trophy home. She pretty much did it for Owen. “I could have easily said I’m pulling out of the 2016 season, to look after Owen. Though I felt at that time I needed it, I also felt that the family needed it.” shared Tyler.
In the very first event of the 2016 Women’s World Championship Tour, Tyler won the 2016 Roxy Pro Gold Coast at Snapper. And Owen was seen for the first time after the injury hugging his sister and congratulating her. It was a very emotional moment for the siblings. Tyler went on and won more events and finished as the World Champion for 2016, all the while drawing strength from family and doing it all for them, especially Owen.
Now in 2017, things are coming back to normal. Today, Owen is back in great shape, winning the first Championship Tour event at Snapper. He has done a significant comeback and is on track to winning a World Title. He currently sits in the number one spot in the Championship Tour rankings, looking really good in the yellow Jeep jersey. And he also did this by drawing inspiration from Tyler and the Wright family.
The strong bond between the Wright siblings has been their source of strength. They continued supporting each other in the lowest and highest points of their lives. And this won’t be the last we will see of both siblings in the limelight. Will they both win world titles this year?
If you have missed the ABC Australian Story episode, here is a replay for you:
Subscribe to Blinksurf for updates on our latest news and reviews