Tyler Wright can be forgiven for shying away from other sports. After all, her parents were avid surfers, and had no interest in hauling their surf-savvy kids to other youth sports. That move seems to have paid off, save for one little thing, "I'm not an expert or even remotely good at almost any other sport," says Tyler. "But I'm naturally drawn to the mental side of it. Sometimes I find it hard because it's so relatable."
In fact, watching other sports can be so intense for Tyler, she can't take it. "I try to avoid watching, as quite often I get way too emotionally involved."
Yet this past week the 2x World Champ was a guest of honor at the Australian Open of Tennis in Melbourne, taking part in a gathering of Australia's most inspirational female athletes. It was a powerful experience for Tyler, who soaked up the rare opportunity to share stories with women who understand all she goes through.
"Being younger, I've found it incredibly hard to communicate all the ideas and things that go on in my head," she says. "But when you're in a room with so many incredible minds, and open ones as well, you just seem to learn and pick up little things that can help you in life." And that's exactly what Wright was doing during her visit. An aspect that stuck out was "the sharing and communicating of life's stories."
The women there not only inspired her, but helped her get over her angst of watching the action, too. "I appreciate the movement of it, and the mental side of the sport. If you pay enough attention, you will soon see that all competitive sport is the same, we just have different crafts."
When asked what sport she'd pursue if she couldn't surf, Wright leans in the same direction as a lot of her Championship Tour counterparts. "Probably snowboarding," she says. "The creative freedom is pretty appealing -- jumps, the half pipe, chasing powder -- also hanging out in Mother Nature."
A few weeks back Tyler got a few days of riding in with 2010 Olympic Gold medalist, Torah Bright, a fellow Australian sports hero who is also a two-time gold medalist at the X Games.
And while Wright was busy watching grueling matches in Melbourne this past weekend, her tour buddies Coco Ho and Malia Manuel were bundled up in Aspen, Colorado, watching a bunch of their very good snowboarder friends compete at this year's winter X Games.
Ho and Manuel have been rolling in influential snowboarding circles for years. Coco is tight with Canadian Olympic snowboarder Mark McMorris (who has some solid surfing skills as well). Manuel, meanwhile, spent a good chunk of her holiday vacation in British Columbia riding with Canadian pro Darcy Sharpe. Up at the X Games, Sharpe and McMorris finished silver and bronze in the men's Slopestyle event. For McMorris, it's a tune-up for the upcoming Winter Olympics in South Korea.
It's pretty obvious Wright, Ho, and Manuel are soaking up a little creative freedom and competitive fire during this off-season break, which means they'll be fired-up and ready when the Roxy Pro Gold Coast starts in just about one month's time.