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Gabriel Medina Backflip Has Changed Surfing Forever. Wow

That was flipping ridiculous.

16/05/2016 12:25 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:52 PM AEST
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Gabriel Medina backflips on a wave and yes, he lands it.

In a year when athletes of the world will converge on Rio de Janeiro for the Olympics in August, the Cariocas (as Rio locals are known) have just seen their first glimpse of athletic awesomeness.

This perfect backflip came at the Oi Rio Pro, an event on the World Surf League tour, and the man who pulled it off was 22-year-old Gabriel Medina, the local hero who in 2014 became Brazil's first male or female surfing world champion. For the record, Oi means "hi" in Brazilian Portuguese.

As you might expect, the crowd cheered like he'd just handed out free money, and Medina gained unanimous perfect tens for his ride.

Surfing has changed. This was a manoeuvre straight out of the skateboarding playbook. For some years now, young surfers have been pulling tricks like this outside of official competition. But to score points consistently and challenge for world titles, surfers generally opt for slightly less difficult, more reliable moves.

Let's watch it again with a little more analysis from the commentators.

And you feel triumphant when you get a parking spot at the beach, right? Let alone merely standing up on the surfboard.

Medina won his heat, but the event is currently on hold due to small waves.

Aussie Matt Wilkinson, who after the year's first three events has a commanding lead in the World Surf League standings, was eliminated by Brazilian wildcard Deivid Silva.

But the big story no matter what happens from here is the Gabriel Medina backflip. And it all happened at the beach in Barra da Tijuca, the Rio suburb which will host the majority of Olympic events in August.

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