On October 2013, Brazil’s Maya Gabeira attempted to surf the biggest wave ever attempted by a woman, at Nazaré in Portugal. The wave, estimated at being anything up to 70 feet (21 metres), was caused by the St Jude Storm, which caused damage and deaths all over Western Europe.  Despite Gabeira’s bravado, she fell, lost consciousness and nearly drowned, suffering a broken shin. She was saved by her fellow Brazilian big-wave surfer Carlos Burle.

Email Sign up

Email Sign-up

Sign up for all things Laureus

Get regular updates throughout the year