We're All With You, Sunny
Sunny Garcia is currently in critical condition.
Sunny Garcia is a warrior, a fighter.
He's a father, a friend, a World Champion—the people’s champion for all of Hawaii, a skinny kid from the Westside who grew into a lion and accomplished a great many things.
This morning Stab began receiving news that Sunny was hospitalized in Seattle, and in critical condition. Details of the circumstances remain vague at this time.
*Update: 10:30PM (US)* According to several sources Sunny is still in critical condition, but breathing on his own. Several are very hopeful he will make a full recovery, though as with situations like this it is very much touch-and-go.
Born Vincent Sennen Garcia in Ma’ili, Sunny's unbridled talent was first noticed by Rell Sunn during her annual kid's contest on the Westside. Rising up from hard-scrabble circumstances, he made his presence felt on the international surf stage in the early ‘80s. His pro surfing career culminated with a World Title in 2000. One of the winningest Hawaiian surfers of all time, over the years he put his name on six Triple Crown trophies.
A truly complicated hero, Sunny's fearless, powerful, stoic surfing remains the very definition of the descriptive phrase "Hawaiian Style."
Sunny is famous for speaking his mind freely, be it a call he disagreed with from a judge or if somebody got out of line in the lineup. But underneath the tough exterior that the media often glommed onto, there is a man with a heart of gold. Gentle, kind and tender, he loved his friends and family and they loved him.
In recent years he’d waged a very public battle with depression. Sharing his feeling's openly on his social media posts, his friends around the world always responded with how much they loved and supported him. His posts garner positive encouragement from countless figures within the surfing, MMA, and motocross communities, onto which he's had significant influence.
Caption: Doesn’t get easier you just get stronger so as long as you keep fighting to be better life can be beautiful and sure we might have those moments when you just want to give up but you have made it so far so keep fighting. I’ve been having some bad days but I’m back to training and seriously been feeling a lot better
From his sprawling network of friends and family, you’d read notes of encouragement from everyone from Kid Peligro and BJ Penn, to Johnny Boy Gomes and Kalani Robb.
"Yeah Sunny! Once a beast, always a beast." - Bucky Lasek
"You're inspiring Sunny! So proud of you, my friend! I'm doing 60 push-ups and a handstand in your honor right now!" - Jamie Brisick
"Yep brother. It’s not how many times you fall. It is how you keep getting up always" - Kid Peligro
Stab will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.
Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with Sunny’s family and friends at this most difficult time. Sunny is a warrior, a dynamic, polarizing, massively talented, and widely admired figure of positivity to everyone in Hawaii today.
And as cliche as it often seems to say, we would be remiss if we didn't say it: If you or a friend are struggling with depression or thoughts of suicide, please head here.