ON WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON THE GOLD COAST WELCOMED HOME THEIR NEWLY CROWED WORLD CHAMPION - PARKO.
Flying into Gold Coast Airport through a spectacular water arch via Helicopter, Parko was greeted by his close friends, family and hundreds of excited fans.
“The chopper was running a bit late and we were all waiting anxiously,” said Amy, Monica’s sister and chief babysitter. But who could blame him; he was taking a moment to fly over his favourite surf break – Snapper Rocks.
Joel’s parents Joe and Brian greeted him on the tarmac with frangipani leis and proud hugs of joy. Parko then walked through the airport doors where his daughters Evie and Macy waited more than eager to see their Mum and world surfing champion Dad.
Parko walked into a packed terminal festooned with homemade banners, stickers, flags, tees and caps of support flying high. The walls were also adorned with huge victory posters.
Parko addressed the crowd and was completely overwhelmed by the support from his hometown. His beloved snapper boardriders were there from life member Bruce Lee, to young gun Sheldon Simkus. The grom cheer squad even had a special dance routine to welcome Parko.
Parko spent time greeting fans, shaking hands and posing for photos all with that trademark smile.
He was then whisked into a press conference. He stated “After my fair share of seconds and some battle scares and bruises along the way, I just decided to enjoy it this year and it all came together.” Parko also mentioned close friend Andy Irons, ”I’d like to think Andy was up there watching and sending me some good waves.”
Parko will no doubt celebrate his win with his close family and friends and the surfing community over the next few weeks.
Thanks to everyone who supported Parko through the year and especially this last week with the #goparko campaign.
Have a safe and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.