A Brazilian daredevil and big wave surfer, Rio-born Maya Gabeira started surfing at age 14.
Arguably one of the best women surfers of all time, she is an unstoppable athlete who never shies away from any challenge, especially in the face of water walls.
In 2014, she made a huge comeback after being miraculously revived on the shores of Nazaré, undeterred in her passion for the big blue thrill. The first woman ever to surf the Alaskan Sea, she was also the first woman surfer to ride Ghost Trees’ and Teahupoo’s big waves. In 2020, she rode a towering 22.4-meter wave - the biggest ever to be surfed by a woman.
Social media has become an integral part of sports culture, allowing fans to take part in collective commentary in real time and engage directly with their favourite athletes - but what are the benefits and challenges for the athletes themselves when they have a direct relationship with fans - and detractors - at the end of their fingertips?