a new interview on Australia’s Public Broadcast Network, Tyler Wright dished on what is perhaps the year’s most troubling and least understood story: the condition of her brother Owen. His brain injury at Pipeline last winter sent him to the emergency room, then forced his withdrawal from the first half of this year’s World Championship Tour, and eventually, the whole shebang.
For Tyler, Owen’s injury comes in her best-ever year competitively. With wins in Snapper, Margaret River and Rio, she’s in the number two spot, trailing number one Courtney Conlogue by a scant 750 points. And for the first time, she’s mounting a determined run for the title.
Tyler’s interview, like Owen’s sparse social media updates and public statements, still leaves us wondering about many details. What is Owen’s medical diagnosis? How exactly did a warrior like him succumb to this injury while so many other surfers escape hideous wipeouts unscathed? Will he be the same hellion he was one year ago? How long might his recovery take?
Still, Tyler gives a window into Owen’s injury, his recovery, and what it’s been like to deal with her brother’s injury, particularly given the emotional timing.
“It’s been a crazy injury. It’s been hard as a family to deal with someone that’s had a brain injury. It’s surprising, I’ve found not a lot of people know what it involves and how to really take care of someone in a position like that. It’s a very intense injury.
I spent a lot of time with him in the first six months with it. At the same time, dealing with him sometimes has made my career choices easier. It comes down to for me choices have been made so much easier. I gained perspective through a few experiences I wouldn’t want to have again ever. Through those experiences, I’ve learned and grew up a little….It’s impacted my life a lot. And at the same time, it’s been challenging. He’s got an incredible story and it’s beautiful.”