By any measure, the Wright family has had one hell of a year and a half. Monday in Australia the national TV magazine, Australian Story, featured their traumas and triumphs in a 30-minute piece.
The show focuses on Tyler Wright's fast rise to surfing's biggest stage, starting from her earliest days in local contests, to questioning her career, and to her massive achievement in 2016, when she won her first World Title. Along the way, she took the surf world by storm: Becoming, at 14, the youngest person ever to win an elite Championship Tour (CT) contest. At 16, she became the youngest person ever to qualify for the CT. But by 18, she wasn't sure what she wanted: Stepping into the spotlight so fast at such a young age would be dizzying for anyone.
And all along, there was Owen, her big brother who helped take care of her on Tour -- he paved the way for her on the CT, and kept a close eye once she made the leap. But when Tyler wasn't sure what she wanted anymore, he was the one to tell her that that was OK.
At the end of 2015, it was Tyler's turn to take care of Owen. In December of that year, when Owen was just one event away from his own potential first Title, he suffered a traumatic brain injury at Pipeline. The injury put his career on hold, and it wasn't clear at the time whether he'd even walk again, much less surf.
Yet, the injury didn't sidetrack either sibling for long. As Owen recovered at home during the 2016 season, Tyler was charging ahead. In fact, she was on fire. Fueled, perhaps, by the gravity of Owen's conditions and fired up with a new coach in her corner, by October she was the new World Champion. And Owen, who was working his way back into the water, had become a new dad.
It was only a matter of months until Owen made his own triumphant return to form. At the first CT event of the 2017 season, he swept the field at Snapper Rocks in what has already become the greatest comeback in surfing history.
See what the Wrights' journey was like behind the scenes. (And keep a box of tissues close.)