An insight into the Wright family’s tragic and triumphant 2016
Reigning world surfing champion Tyler Wright was overcome with emotion watching her older brother Owen make his comeback to professional surfing on the Gold Coast last weekend.
“I think I cried for about 15 minutes after it was done. But yeah, big moment. A year can change a lot.”
Fifteen months earlier, at just 21, Tyler became her brother’s primary carer after he suffered a serious brain injury while surfing Pipe.
“You could tell in his eyes. My brother never looks panicked. He’s always been very calm and collected under most situations. In his eyes, his eyes, it was the scariest thing I’ve ever seen.”
Now, Owen Wright has made a miraculous return to the WSL, taking out the first event of the year, the Quiksilver Pro, at Queensland’s Snapper Rocks last Sunday.
This same time last year, he was struggling to get to his feet and walk around. Tyler had considered pulling out of the 2016 season to look after him.
“She just totally forgot about herself. Unselfishly, she was just, 'I’m here for Owen, and that’s it,' remembers Mick Fanning.
But Tyler knew her brother wouldn’t want her to give up her dreams of winning a maiden World Title, something she had publicly declared she wanted only two months before her brother’s accident.
In this episode of Australian Story, the Wright family speaks candidly about Tyler’s emotional journey to the top. The program also features interviews with Layne Beachley, Mick Fanning and Stephanie Gilmore.
All For The Family, The Tyler Wright Story, premieres on Australian Story, 8pm Monday 27 March, 2017. Tune in on ABC or ABC iView.