On October 9, 2015, at exactly midday, beneath the 12 chimes of the bells of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Nazaré, Maya Gabeira rode her first wave back at Praia do Norte, where three years earlier she experienced the roughest moment of her career.
Bulldozed by a massive wave, Gabeira broke her ankle instantly, but that was the least of her troubles. Two more waves tossed her around as her body went limp and she slipped in and out of consciousness before fellow Brazilian Carlos Burle was able to rescue her. The scenes were shocking and were watched in horror around the world.
All of which brings us to the courageous clip above. With much physical and psychological preparation, along with two hernia surgeries to her back, Gabeira got back to the place that once changed her life forever. As naturally as you'd expect from someone who's surfed the biggest waves on the planet for the past decade, the 28-year-old didn’t have any problems dropping into 10ft waves, but that was only her first step.