Gabriel Medina's family is famously private. In mid-contest interviews, Gabriel Medina (BRA) consistently demurs when asked about World Title pressure, asserting a heat-by-heat approach -- despite being both poised to win, and, potentially, the first-ever Brazilian to do so.
Similarly, Medina's stepfather, Charles Serrano, has stayed impressively quiet on the topic of a possible Title -- not an easy feat for the parent of a World Championship Tour (WCT) leader with all of Brazil behind him.
This week, in an unprecedented move, father and son gave their first-ever interview together. They sat down with the ASP to discuss the Title race, their family and their mindsets going into the Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal, where Gabriel could potentially become the 2014 Champ.
In Part I, the pair talk competition and the WCT Title.
ASP: Who do you see as a rival in your World Title quest?
Gabriel: I don't know, we had Andy [Irons]. Andy was the guy who came and was better against Kelly Slater. I don't feel like him or like someone else. I'm trying to get my first Title right now. I can't compare. I haven't won a Title yet or anything so it's hard to compare with Andy or Kelly, who have won a World Title before. But I'm feeling close.
I am just trying to do my best. It's not [on] our time. It's God's time. It's whatever he wants.
ASP: What is it like having veteran surfers like Kelly Slater, Mick Fanning (AUS) and Joel Parkinson (AUS) chasing you in the Title race?
Gabriel: I've watched them winning World Titles and last year I was staying with Mick in Hawaii in the last event and I watched everything pretty close. I saw everything. They were talking about Kelly, talking about Mick and all that, the situation [had] so [much] pressure. If I was him I was going to be so nervous. And I was watching so close and the way he did, the way he won, that really inspired me. I saw it was so close and I felt like I was in his spot. Or someday I can be in his spot. That was really good for me.
I think that is why I am feeling really good right now. When you think about it too much you kind of get nervous and I am just trying to let things happen and just put on a good show in every contest. Do my best. And it's not our time. It's God's time. It's whatever he wants.
ASP: How proud are you of Gabriel?
Charles: There are not words to describe it really, because pride is like that. But at this time we have to remain calm because we know the road was hard this year. It may not seem like it, but it was. And we are still missing a few steps.
So we cannot get too emotional and we have to think, not with our heart but with our head. That is the way we say it in Brazil. We need to proceed with calmness and serenity at this time. But the pride I have for him is so much.
He is not here to make friends, this is true. He is here to compete.
ASP: What should people know about Gabriel's personality?
Charles: He is a great son, a good friend, he is a person who does not like to fight.
[During] competition he can be very cold, and very competitive, especially at the time of competition he changes a bit. I have even heard phrases about him at the competitions saying he is not here to make friends, and this is true. He is here to compete. His personality does make him friends along the way, but on Tour he is competing and he is not here to mess around. Like everything in his life.