Gabriel Medina won Brazil's first ever World Surfing Championship in 2014, becoming the first 20-year-old to take the title since Kelly Slater in 1992. Medina was the dominant surfer, winning on the Gold Coast, in Fiji and Tahiti.
He is a Nominee for the 2015 Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year Award and spoke exlusively to Laureus.
Congratulations on a wonderful year. What does it feel like to be world champion at 20?
Thank you. The feeling is amazing and better than I could expect, I am very happy to achieve my biggest dream, the goal that my team, family and I worked hard for.
What were the highlights of your world championship year?
I think the wins in Gold Coast and Tahiti were amazing and the ones which gave me a lot of confidence through the year. Winning the opening event, motivated me, and I believed more in myself.
At the start of the year did you think you could win the world title?
I honestly did not. I had a tough time injured at the end of 2013, but after an intense treatment I recovered well. Thanks God, all went perfectly.
Who is your sporting role model?
Ayrton Senna, three times Formula One world champion and Gustavo Kuerten, three times French Open tennis champion. Both former No.1 in the world and from Brazil.
The last man to win the world title at 20 was Kelly Slater - and you beat him in competition last year. What would you say about his place in surfing history?
Kelly is a legend, I admire him a lot. It's hard to say something about it yet, I still have long years to go, but I am very glad I am now part of the history and will work hard to win more world titles.
Do you have a game plan for your career - how many world titles do you think you can win?
I hope many, but I will concentrate on every single hit, every event and keep fighting for more world titles.
Who are likely to be your main rivals in 2015?
I believe that the 36 surfers on the tour are ready for this. The new generation is on fire and fighting hard to gain space and win events.
Do you feel like you are the first of a new group of young surfers – Kelly Slater and Mick Fanning have been around for many years.
It's great to be leading or to be the first to win as part of the new generation. Kelly and Mick still have a lot to bring on, so this is a very exciting year.
What does it feel like to be nominated for the Laureus Action Sports Award?
For me it's an honour and I am very happy for this indication. Brazil only had few representatives to compete for the Award in the past years, so the country is very excited, waiting to see the final result.
What would it be like to win the Laureus Action Sports Award and go to Shanghai to receive it?
This would be amazing, this is a big honour to be competing with some of the greatest athletes. Very excited with the Nomination.
Why is the Laureus Award so prestigious? Is it because the Laureus Academy who vote for the winners are all such sporting legends, for example Tony Hawk and Robby Naish.
Yes, it’s very prestigious and with some of the greatest athletes and sports legend part of it. This Award will be very important and forever remembered in my career.
Which of your tricks is the one you most like to perform?
Air, these are the tricks from the new generation. People love watching that.
Do you have good interaction with your 'fans' - do you do a lot of social media?
Yes, I love to be interacting on instagram, facebook and twitter. Especially with all my travelling to compete around the world, I try to be connected with my fans, friends and supporters.
What do you enjoy when you are not surfing?
I enjoy getting on the internet, hang out with my friends, listening music and playing with my little sister Sofia.