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Tyler Wright

Age

30

Place of Birth

NOWRA, NSW

Hometown

Adamstown Heights

Olympic History

Paris 2024

 

Tyler's Story

For most athletes, becoming the youngest in history to win a Championship Tour event and claiming two world titles would be enough. But surfer Tyler Wright is equally proud of her achievements out of the water.

Tyler is an advocate for mental health and diversity, a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community and plans to study neuroscience when she retires from surfing.
She was the first openly gay woman competing on world surfing tour.

The first to wear a pride flag on her competition rash vests. The first to take a knee for Black Lives Matter in 2021, kneeling for almost eight minutes of her heat at the Tweed Coast Pro.

She believes that being a professional athlete brings with it a responsibility to speak up for those who don’t have a voice and to inspire others.

Tyler explains her advocacy as “bringing a level of humanity, and I guess just bringing me to my career”.

“We train to surf, to do our job to the best of our ability, to win,” she said. “Underneath that, there’s everything else that makes you who you are.”

Known for her powerful, aggressive style, Tyler grew up in a surfing family in the NSW south coast community of Culburra Beach. Her siblings Owen – who represented Australia in surfing at the Tokyo Olympics – Kirby, Mikey and Tim, her father Rob, and mother, Fiona, are all passionate surfers.

The family travelled the east coast of Australia in a van so the children could enter junior surfing competitions.

Tyler was just 14 when she won her first Championship Tour event, the Beachley Classic at Manly in 2008, becoming the youngest ever winner on the tour.

She won a junior world championship in 2010 and made her debut as a full-time member of the ASP the next year. She finished her first season fourth overall and earned recognition as rookie of the year.

In 2012, Tyler placed fourth again, but finished in second place in 2013 and 2014. Although she slipped to fifth place in 2015, she rededicated herself to the sport and in 2016 won her first world championship. She repeated that feat in 2017.

In July 2018 Tyler contracted a severe bout of flu while at a surfing competition in South Africa. The illness developed into chronic fatigue syndrome.

Forced to spend 14 months bedridden, suffering neurological symptoms such as headaches, extreme tiredness, intolerance to light and noise, confusion and memory loss, she missed two seasons on the tour.

Tyler returned to competition full-time in 2021 and won the Maui Pro at Pipeline in Hawaii that year.

Since then she has won the Rip Curl Pro at Victoria’s Bells Beach in 2022 and 2023 and has made a strong start the 2024 season.

While an Olympic medal is at the top of Tyler’s wishlist in 2024, she is also looking ahead to life after retirement from surfing.

She didn’t get the chance to complete high school as a teenager and has resumed her studies to compensate for that.

Her long-term goal, after getting that high school diploma, is to study neuroscience, with the goal of promoting science-backed brain trauma prevention and recovery in sport.

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