It's only January, but 2016 could not get much better for Adriano de Souza. Last weekend in Brazil he and his bride, model Patricia Eicke, were married in a ceremony that was both intimate and festive. With family and friends gathered, De Souza, one of the more soft-spoken surfers on tour, articulated his love for her and what she means to him.
After admitting that he was nervous, De Souza read a love letter that he said he'd never had the courage to write. In his heartfelt missive he told her she was better than any World Title, and helped him become a better person than he knew he could be. Together, he said, they could conquer the world.
The wedding is just the latest highlight from a whirlwind few months. In December, after 10 years on the Championship Tour (CT), De Souza won his first-ever World Title. It was emotional for him not only because he had worked for so hard for so long, but also because he dedicated his season to the late Ricardo dos Santos, who was killed in January 2015. De Souza revealed that he had the same tattoo as his fallen friend which, translated to English, said Strength, Balance, Love.
He explained, "That's all I needed this year to win the World Title."
Just before the new year, he returned to a hero's welcome at home in Brazil with adoring fans crowding the streets. There was a massive parade, a jam-packed press conference, and palpable enthusiasm for the new champ.
Barely a week later in early January, De Souza and Eicke wed in a civil ceremony after which he wrote, "Today I signed the hardest contract in my life." But that was only a warm-up for the big day that followed: On his Instagram Sunday De Souza said simply, "Que dia. // What a day."