It's not like Gabriel Medina is a shoe-in for a Gold medal at the upcoming Olympic Games, but it's fair to say he's one of a small group of athletes who are serious contenders.

It's not just that he's a World Champion -- it's also his relentless, ruthless competitive drive. He seems to draw so much motivation from the pressure cooker of competition and there's no higher stage than the Olympics. Everyone is expecting him to unleash his beast-mode.

17 year old Gabriel Medina is coming into the Mr Price Pro Ballito fresh off two excellent back to back results, a win in Brasil and a second in Portugal.  Liying in 18th place on the ASP One World ratings he is on the cusp of qualifying for the elite ASP World Tour.  A solid result in Ballito will solidy his position on the main tour to compete against those almost twice his age. Gabriel Medina is still a young man, but he's been pushing the sport for more than a decade - WSL

So much so that the Olympic Channel recently asked Kelly Slater, Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson exactly what makes Medina so special.

Slater makes note of Medina's success from such an early age. "When you see someone that far ahead at that age, you know there's something special with them. It's not he was just good that day, you know?

The wind shifted and Gabriel Medina (BRA) went to work.   ASP / Cestari Gabriel Medina does as well in small waves as he does at some of the heaviest locations on the planet - WSL / Kelly Cestari

Mick doesn't mince any words. "He doesn't have a weakness," says the three-time World Champion. "When he's on, he's scary."

And Parko perhaps sums up what could be Medina's greatest power: "Even when he's losing, he still believes he can win. And that's a hard thing to do."

To find out what else these greats of the sport said about one of its fiercest competitors, check out the full video at the Olympic Channel.

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