Over the past six years, Owen Wright has experienced incredible adversity - both personally and his with his loved ones.
It all started at Pipeline in December 2015, when the Culburra Beach product suffered head trauma that not only threatened his career but life as he knew it.
This injury forced him to sit out of the World Surf League Championship Tour for the entire 2016, as he tried to regain normal bodily functions, as well as teaching himself to ride a board again.
Mix in the fact his uncle Mark tragically passed away and mum Fiona was diagnosed with cancer during this time and the waves were far from his number one priority.
While the now 31-year-old was at his lowest, his younger sister Tyler was announcing her as a world champion - the first of two WSL titles she's claimed.
As inspiring as her rise was, Wright admits it was surfing being unveiled as an Olympic sport for the first time in Tokyo that really drove his recovery.
"The Olympics to me has been that beacon of light - I was going through some really tough times, I had some long-lasting symptoms and I was questioning if I was ever going to do the sport again," Wright told broadcaster the Seven Network.
"I went through some tough times, I was three years into it on the road to recovery but when surfing was announced as part of the Olympic schedule, it spurred me on to get back to my best.
"That extra attention that came to surfing saw more funding come into the sport and allowed me to see the doctors I needed to see.
"That whole year, I strived so hard to get onto that team and now I'm standing here with an Olympic medal - that announcement really did change my life."
While Tuesday's bronze medal might be the reward, it acts as a culmination of his inspiring story, which stems back to his emotional comeback win at Snapper Rocks at the first WSL CT event of 2017.
Since then he and his whole family - with Fiona recovering from her cancer battle and Tyler bouncing back from her two-year fight against chronic fatigue - have been defying the odds.
"I'm extremely proud to represent all those past champions of Australian surfing, my family, my wife and kids and on a really personal level, all those TBI [Traumatic Brain Injury] survivors and all those people who've had really bad brain injuries - this medal is for you all," he said.
"I just want to let you know it's all possible and to not give up - keep striving to get back there."
Tuesday optimised Wright's career.
Instead of worrying about his semi-final loss to eventual gold medallist Italo Ferreira, he turned his focus to creating history and winning his country's first ever surfing medal - in the bronze medal surf-off against Brazil's two-time world champion Gabriel Medina.
""Bede [Durbidge] and I had a really strong tactic going into the final, as I know my strengths are good enough with the conditions," he said.
"I got my waves and then wrapped him up with the Irukandji tentacles, which we've been using all week and stuck to him [Gabriel Medina].
"He managed that one wave, which was terrible but he still managed a six - highlighting the freak that Gabby is.
"After that, I didn't let him breathe and managed to hold on, as the conditions did the rest for me.
"My heart was beating so hard [during that final two minutes] and I was taking wave after wave on the head in the crazy conditions.
"The main thing for me was staying focused and executing the plan we had."
On his return to the shore to celebrate his 11.97 to 11.77 win with his Australian teammates, it truly dawned on him how momentous the result was.
"I feel like I'm walking on a cloud - I couldn't be any prouder," the former St Johns student said.
"That's why I'm so proud to be an Olympian, from that first surf to standing on the podium, it's all unbelievable.
"It's one of the most special moments of my life and I really feel I did Australia proud."
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