Surfer Martin Passeri Sacrifices Surf Title to Help Paralyzed Man Ride the Waves

People of the world: Give Argentine surfer Martin Passeri a round of applause! The competitive surfer was aiming to take home his sixth title win at the Argentina Surf Championship earlier this month, and in a shocking move, the athlete was disqualified from the competition. Why? He did what others couldn't dream of, and lifted a paralyzed man on his back in order to help the fan hang ten.

Noticing 18-year-old fan Nicolas Gallegos watching the surf competition from the beach, Passeri went up to the teen and offered to take him out on the water. However, since the surfer's random act of kindness took place during the competition, he was disqualified.

Argentine surfer Martin Passeri
Argentine surfer Martin Passeri helped a paralyzed fan surf in May 2015.

"I've always been one to break limits, and now I've got limits from the moment I wake up," Gallegos said in a video highlighting Passeri's appearance in the surf competition. "Martin is a role model for all of us."

Martin and fan
Martin Passeri and Nicolas Gallegos. Martin Passeri helped paralyzed fan Nicolas Gallegos surf in May 2015.

"Surfing is sharing the experience of something that has no explanation to it. When you share it, when you can really carry the other person, and see the same smile that you get when you slide over the wave, that's a new wave," Passeri said of his gesture. "The euphoria we both felt on the board was awesome."

Said Gallegos: "Out of all the places I move around, the ocean is the only place where I'm free."

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