In just a few short hours the 2016 Oi Rio Pro will begin. If conditions permit, our beloved CT surfers will arrive ready to brawl, competition will commence, and the vibrant beachside community in Rio will be full of activity as usual. Yesterday, however, things were much more unnerving. According to reports by Stab, Conner Coffin, Carissa Moore, and a few others from the Hurley squad witnessed a man being gunned down in the street just behind the contest area.
“It was me, Carissa, and a couple guys from Hurley,” Conner told Stab. “At first I thought it was fire crackers, then someone yelled gun and we all just jumped. We saw this guy trying to get away from the man wielding a pistol at the gas station. He jumped on a motorcycle, he was shot and bleeding. It was pretty gnarly. I thought he got away, but I heard later that he was seen lying in the street. It’s definitely the sketchiest thing I’ve ever seen.”
Rio de Janeiro has long been criticized for being the one stop on Tour that most people could do without. Between the recent Zika virus outbreak, reoccurring poor surf, the alleged high concentrations of human excrement present in the water – not to mention the robberies, kidnappings, corruption, gangs, drugs, and murders, among many other types of illicit behavior – people were saying enough is enough. So should this all be reason to forfeit Rio? Better yet, will the WSL sacrifice Rio? It’s doubtful.
First, the opportunity cost on such a decision would be monumental. No rational business would do such a thing. Secondly, we must remind ourselves that things like this happen all of the time. Not just in Brazil. Of course, not every stop on Tour has an equal chance of having a murder occur so close by, but there are shitty people everywhere. Most surfers on Tour have seen similar if not worse situations in their travels.
“I’ve been having a really good time here,” Conner continued. “The waves have been fun, the water hasn’t been too dirty and nobody’s contracted the Zika Virus. Things seemed on the up and up. I’ve been hanging out with great people, eating good food and enjoying myself. Other than that it’s been sick here. But seeing someone get shot at a gas station in the middle of the day definitely keeps you on your toes. You just hope you don’t get caught in the cross fire.”