LENNOX Head resident Owen Wright has created history, becoming the first Australian surfer to win a medal at an Olympic Games.
The 31-year-old defeated Brazilian surfer Gabriel Medina in the bronze medal heat for third at Tsurigasaki Beach in Chiba, east of Tokyo Today.
It came after a narrow loss against 2019 world champion Italo Ferreira in his semi-final.
Wright, seeded seventh, was the best-performing Australian after Sally Fitzgibbons was eliminated in the quarter-finals.
"I feel like I'm walking on a cloud, I couldn't be any prouder," Wright said
"I'm really proud to represent my family and all of Australia."
Wright grew up at Culburra on the NSW south coast before moving to Lennox Head just over a decade ago.
He was part of the Lennox-Ballina Boardriders Club and won a national final in a team event with them in 2012.
Wright missed over a year of competition when his career was almost ended in 2015 by a traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a big wave impact in Hawaii.
He had to start from scratch, learning to surf again and regaining his confidence when he returned in 2017.
"This has been like a beacon of light, I was going through some tough times when it first got announced that surfing was coming into the Olympics," he said.
"This is for all the people out there who have had really bad brain injuries, I went to let them know anything is possible and don't give up on what you can achieve."