For a five-time Argentine surf champion, one might think that winning the national Argentine Surf Championship would be the ultimate career high. Not so for surfer Martín Passeri, who recently surprised everyone when the surfer made an unexpected decision: when he was called to compete, instead of racing to the water, he stopped short.
Nicolás Gallegos was watching the event from his wheelchair. When he was 18 an accident left him paralyzed from the waist down. His life-long dream, cut short, had been to one day become a surfer. Twenty years later, his dream was became a reality.
Passeri, making a career changing decision, taps Gallegos on the shoulder and offers him a ride he can’t refuse—the surf champion wanted to help him catch his first wave. With the world stage looking on, Reef captured this unprecedented and selfless act.
Rules being what they are, Martín Passeri was disqualified, but the sentiment he expressed when he reached shore was befitting a champion: "I believe that was the best wave, and the biggest triumph of my life."
<i>Editor's note, 5/29/15: GrindTV has learned since this post was originally published that the footage of Passeri giving Gallegos a ride on his back was not filmed during competition and that his act did not disqualify him from competition. Please see this updated post for details.</em>
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