PRAIA DE ITAÚNA - Saquarema, Brazil (Friday, November 4, 2022) - Today, Willian Cardoso (BRA) announced his retirement after finishing in 37th place at the Corona Saquarema Pro pres. by Banco do Brasil, Stop No. 6 on the World Surf League (WSL) 2022 Challenger Series. After competing around the world for more than 15 years, Cardoso now chooses to end his career, at the age of 36, in the same place where he won his only Qualifying Series (QS) event in Brazil, the Coca-Cola Saquarema Pro in 2010 at Praia de Itaúna.
"Just part of my story ends here today," said Cardoso. "All the memories are going to be alive. I've had really great moments here in Saquarema and I'm so grateful to be here with all my friends. I am missing two people here today, my wife and my son. I want to give them so much respect for keeping dreams alive for all these years. A new chapter starts tomorrow. I have more things to do. Next year I want to win the Nationals. It's one title I've never had. I'm going to fight for that and hope next year I finish with a victory."
Cardoso participated in his first QS event at the age of 18. During his 12 seasons on the QS, he won five events and was crowned the WSL South America Regional Champion in 2010. He spent more than 10 years fighting for a spot on the Championship Tour (CT), coming very close to qualification several times, only to fall short during the final leg in Hawaii.
In 2018, Cardoso finally made it onto the CT, as one of the oldest rookies to do so at 32 years of age. In the most emotional victory of his career, he took the win at the 2018 CT event in Uluwatu, taking down Julian Wilson (AUS) in the final.
Due to his large size and powerful surfing style, he earned the nickname of "Kung-Fu Panda". Cardoso is synonymous with perseverance, persistence, and determination, and is proof that one should never give up on one's dreams.