In October, Monster Energy’s Tyler Wright tore 70 percent of her MCL in her right knee. Her season, it was declared — by media, the World Surf League, even us — was over. But Tyler didn’t throw in the towel. She doubled down, focused, rehabbed and was miraculously back at France, where she finished third and put herself back in world title content contention.
Coming into the Maui Pro, she was among five women vying for the ultimate trophy in surfing. But instead of wearing the yellow jersey, she was wearing a knee brace. She was a long shot. But then, in round 2, ratings leader Sally Fitzgibbons melted under the fire of wildcard Brissa Hennessy. Tyler marched on. Then Courtney Conlogue fell in round 4, while Tyler pushed into the quarters. It was there that she met giant-killer Hennessy, the only thing standing between Tyler and the title. And, where her rivals had buckled before her, Tyler held firm , dropping an 8.5 and a 7.6 with powerful, fearless surfing to advance to the semifinals and clinch the title ahead of Stephanie Gilmore and Carissa Moore.
Interviewed in the water after realizing her second consecutive world title, Tyler was soft-spoken, deflecting credit to her support crew. “I was on the hill [before the heat], and I just felt so much” Tyler said, emotional. “I had my [whole family] on the cliff and...It takes a team to do this, so I want to thank everyone that’s gotten me to this point.”
From there, it was back to the hill to feel some more, and immerse herself in a blurry montage of hugs, tears, laughter, Hawaiian flowers and Champagne showers, with the loved ones that support her. It was a fairytale end to a challenging year, and we couldn’t be more proud. Congratulations, Tyler! Time for a three-peat???