WE SAY: Julian and Fanning are true heroes of surfing
JULIAN Wilson is arguably now one of the most recognisable professional athletes on the planet courtesy of a great white shark that interrupted his World Surf League tour event final showdown with three-time world champion Mick Fanning in South Africa three weeks ago.
It delivered Wilson, the adrenalin junkie, an overload of emotion that reduced him to tears as he faced interviews straight out of the water after seeing Fanning knocked from his board and appear to disappear.
Fanning has publicly acknowledged he has sought psychological counselling to overcome the trauma of his near-death encounter.
He then used his pay from the 60 Minutes interview, $75,000, and donated it to Ballina bodyboarder Mat Lee who was attacked by a shark last month.
Fanning and Wilson are two unlikely heroes who have unwittingly influenced and inspired a generation of young men.
These are young men who are not afraid to show emotion, to admit they are human and at times will feel fragile, and young men who will stand by each other's side.
Their actions are all class.