If only we could return to the good ol days.
Caio Ibelli Posts Heartfelt Message To Medina, Can't Tag The Champ Because He Is Blocked
Medina's trigger finger is quick and remorseless!
Ever tried to tag a presumed friend in an online forum and their profile just...wouldn't...appear?
Tapping at keys, making sure their name is spelled correctly, scrolling through the search bar only to find... nothing!
Then you check on your other friend's phone and, yup, the presumed friend's account is alive and well. Thriving, actually. He posted three gym selfies today and a +Neymar photo on his main feed that racked half-a-million taps (or 250,000 likes).
And then it dawns on you. You've been blocked. Banned from seeing, interacting, or tagging his profile until further notice.
Most of the time, you know why you were blocked—be it a snarky comment on a previous post or your generally annoying online presence; sometimes you don't.
But Caio Ibelli? He knows exactly why he got blocked by his childhood friend and accidental arch-nemesis Gabriel Medina—even if the reason is flimsy at best.
Apologies, I'm afraid I've buried the lede. Let's fix that.
Yesterday, the day before Caio Ibelli and Gabriel Medina are set face off in Round 4 of the Pipeline Masters, the smaller Brazilian wrote a heartfelt message about his and the bigger Brazilian's lifetime of friendship and mutually-respectful rivalry in surfing, going as far back as the King of the Groms final in France (see above), where Medina dropped two 10s on Caio's head, setting the stage for a lifetime of one-sided domination.
According to the WSL site, Gabe and Caio have only surfed head-to-head three times in their CT careers, and Caio has the lion's share of victories*.
*Ok, there's a slight asterisk on this stat, because as we saw at the last CT event in Portugal, Medina blew a combination lead over his compatriot by shoulder-checking him without priority, resulting in an interference and unnecessary heat loss. So it really should be 2-1 Medina.
Anyways, here's Caio's message according to Google Translate:
We have been competing together since childhood, tomorrow we will be in the water together again this time in Pipeline for the first time. Each struggling to achieve our own goals. His is the third world title and mine is my best place in the WT rankings in the toughest year of my career where I didn't even know if I was going to compete all year long. We train our whole lives for this moment, I will do my best and I want to come out with nothing less than victory. It will be hard game! And it goes from Brazil regardless.
Notice how there's no "@gabrielmedina" anywhere in Caio's post? That's because Instagram made it physcially impossible for Caio to tag his life-long pal, due to the fact that Medina blocked Ibelli following their interference incident.
If you recall, Medina went on the offensive after his controversial loss in Portugal, writing the following on his Instagram:
Caio and I caught the same wave and each went one way. My wave was shorter and his was longer. So much so that while I was back outside, he was still riding his wave. When I got to the bottom, I was so sure the priority was mine that I didn’t look at the priority sign. To my surprise, when the next wave came, I ended up going because I was sure the priority was mine. That ended up leading to interference.
The part about Medina being out the back while Ibelli was still riding his wave was patently untrue. The original priority call could have gone either way, but it was always Medina's responsibility to check the tower and, whether or not he agreed with the judges' decision, abide by their ruling.
Medina's online outburst was not only misguided but also directly harmful to Ibelli, who received death threats for days following the event. It's unlikely that this was Medina's intended result, but he did nothing to stop the onslaught of aggressive messages Caio was receiving. And, as we've previously established, Medina also blocked his compatriot on Instagram, which is perhaps his pettiest retaliation of them all.
As an organization that was formerly blocked by Medina for...say...three-to-five years, Stab knows how quick and remorseless the Brazilian's trigger finger can be. But the truth is, we probably deserved the digital incarceration Medina placed upon us.
Caio Ibelli? Not so much.
As far as we've seen, the guy never said a bad word about Medina following the Portugal incident, which wasn't even Ibelli's fault to begin with.
The fact that Caio continues to take the high road despite Medina's digital petulance is nothing short of admirable. We'll see if his positive karma means anything when facing Medina tomorrow at Pipe.
My gut says, probably not.