CAPBRETON, France (Tuesday, January 7, 2014) - 2014 came bearing good news for Portuguese surfer Tiago Pires, 33, whose traumatic knee-injury sustained in early spring last year kept the talent from surfing most events on the 2013 World Championship Tour. After deliberations took place throughout the culmination of the 2013 season, ASP officials announced that Pires would receive the coveted injury wildcard and be offered another chance at surfing with the World's Elite.
We just caught up with Tiago about his past season, rehab and looking at getting another shot at the World Title race next year.
Hi Tiago, tell us how you feel after receiving the news? I feel very relieved as I knew it was going to be a very tough decision for ASP. Usually we never have so many injuries in the same year and 2013 was a crazy one for that matter. Reading that email was almost like finding out I had qualified for the first time. Just a very positive and joyful news.
2013 was a tough one for you, can you remind us all what happened? Yes. It was after I got back from the Aussie leg and the waves were pumping for a week non-stop. I was surfing and training in the Gym like never before and feeling as good as it gets.
I had many amazing sessions in Supertubes, Carcavelos, Ericeira and then Santa Cruz where I got hurt. This one morning it was only myself and two other friends and the waves were absolutely perfect. I had had my fair share of crazy barrels and had surfed for about two hours.
The wave where I got hurt was one of those waves where I should've been watching from the beach already! I was over-confident after so many barrels and decided to go on a super late but amazing looking one. As I was air dropping into the barrel my inside rail didn't catch and the board turned left facing straight to beach. The lip landed right on my knee and pulled my front leg backwards really bad. I instantly felt a horrible pain and that was it. I was done.
Explain to us what it takes to get back to your 100 percent after such an injury. I started doing physiotherapy right way and it was a twice-a-day kind of deal for about three months before I started surfing. Then, in September I had another episode where I landed on my knee again and it got worse again.
After surfing for two months with the same pain I decided to change doctors and went to Barcelona to get another person to look at it. After I got back from Spain and with an infiltration of Plasma in my knee I was forbidden to surf until mid-december. At the moment I'm feeling way better, doing a very intense muscle rehabilitation and I'm confident that I will be 100 percent pretty soon. Staying positive is the key!
Tiago Pires will be surfing in the opening leg of events starting March 1-12 at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast in Australia. For more information about Tiago, check out his profile on www.aspworldtour.com!