After losing his leg in a horror vehicle accident in Bali where he was hit by a cement truck in 2018, Sydney amputee surfer Oli had always vowed to return to the water, and hell yes he’s done it in style having ticked off a few big wave spots on the way.
Oli was struck by a truck over taking him in Bali whilst on a scooter, having to scoop up half his calf muscle from the road, using his laces as a tourniquet on his badly mangled right leg. He was taken to a Balinese hospital post accident by a taxi driver where infection eventually set in on his damaged leg 10 days after it was pinned back together.
“I just jumped in the back of the taxi and put my legs up around the headrest and grabbed my leg just to try and stop that bleeding,” he said. “I was upside down in the taxi for about 30 minutes before we got to the hospital. Halfway through the taxi ride, all I wanted to do was pass out and go to sleep, but I knew if I did, I was going to die.
Oli told thewest.com.au
Oil was flown to the hospital in Perth eventually receiving the devastating news he would loose his leg. His positive outlook and determination are something else having taken on the monster that is Nazaré, Portugal.
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It was an honour to be invited to surf in the @gigantesdenazare paddle contest today... an expression session of the some of the worlds best big wave surfers here in Nazare.... . It was also my first time paddle surfing nazare, Conditions were perfect with waves in the 15-25ft range with some rouge bomb sets.... Which landed on my head... twice. . This photo is from my first wave of the session, I was nervous and unsure if I could match it or even hold my own with the caliber of surfers in this event... So I planned to catch a wave as soon as I got off the JetSki...... I was the first person to catch and wave in the event and this was it. Literally 2 minutes after jumping off @lucaschumbo ski (Thankyou for the ride) . Today was undoubtedly one of the best big wave sessions I’ve ever had. I caught 8 waves today on a weapon on a board Loaned to my by @c.j.crooke 🙏🏻and surfed well. My cheeks hurt from Grinning ear to ear for the entire 3 hour session....Thank you to the event organisers, all the jet ski drivers and safety crew and all the fellow surfers. I have never felt such a welcoming and friendly community of incredible humans in my life. Thankyou to everyone 🙏🏻🤙🏼❤️ . Photo captured by the local legend @miguel_chaby 📸
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Some moments captured before my first surf at Nazare after flying in the night before, A last minute decision on less than 24 hours notice. . I had only towed into a handful of time’s in my life and never surfed a real tow board (they are Super heavy 12-15kgs)... nor had I done any tow surfing with straps since loosing my leg.... we didn’t know what was going to happen and if I was going to be able to do it...... Everyone was having second thoughts about going out there in such big conditions.... and were thinking of waiting for a smaller day..... . @caiogebaravaz quietly walked over next to me and asked me what I thought away from Everyone... I said I think that it’s pumping and a perfect day, some of the cleanest big waves I had ever seen... I want to surf. . . he said “Then let’s go!!!!” . So i put my canisters into my vest, put on my original big wave psyche up song on repeat (breathe - @hilltophoods ) and we headed down to the boat ramp to suit up and get out there. As we were getting ready I noticed Caio was wearing a moon boot; he was still recovering from a heavy injury at huge cloud break, where he ripped his hamstring off the bone and destroyed his leg.... so it was only fitting that two dudes with two good legs between us were heading out together.... we were both laughing as we were walking down the wharf to the jet ski. . I jumped on the back of the rope while we were still in the safety of the harbour and practiced a few rescue pick-ups and water launches to figure out how to get my prosthetic foot into the tow strap. The board felt good and fast..... Caio and I held hands and he ran me through the traditional prayer that they do before each session, which was very special. we were ready. 👊🏼 . 📸 @anacatarinaphoto