Surfer Sunny Garcia is not dead but he has been hospitalized and is currently in intensive care. An update on his condition has not been released.
“With heavy hearts we confirm that Sunny Garcia is in the ICU in the hospital. Sunny has always been a great champion of surfing, both in and out of the water. Our prayers are with him and his loved ones at this deeply challenging time,” the World Surf League tweeted on Monday night.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Reason for Garcia’s Hospitalization Hasn’t Been Confirmed & His Family Has Asked for Privacy
The reason that Garcia has been hospitalized has not been confirmed. However, 1993 World Champ Derek Ho uploaded an Instagram post (which has since been deleted) that prompted some fans to think that Garcia had attempted suicide, according to Surfer.com.
Ho wrote “hang in there” and “it’s not your time,” in the original post. He has since changed the caption on his post — a photo of himself with Garcia — to read, “Vincent the 3rd checking pipe I don’t think he is even looking at the lefts! Our prayers for you and family!”
His family has asked for privacy at this time.
He Has Been Suffering From Depression & Posted About it on Instagram
Over the past couple of weeks, Garcia had taken to social media to talk about having “bad days.” In a post from April 7, he wrote about “dancing in the rain.”
“Been learning to just dance in the rain:) Bad days will always be part of our lives but that doesn’t mean we can look forward to a little sun. Hope you all had a great weekend so far and if you had a bad one I’m sending you lots of Love and Aloha,” he captioned a picture of a quote.
Last month, Garcia wrote a lengthy caption about mental illness. You can read it below.
“Doesn’t matter what kind of mental illness you suffer from, we all suffer in silence and deal with it best we can and most people that don’t suffer can’t understand the pain and frustration that we go through:( I have a incredible life surrounded by people that love and care for me, and I get to travel to beautiful places to surf and meet different people from all over the world but I can tell you when I get down that none of that matters. I just feel like nothing or anyone can help me at the particular time so I just keep sharing my feelings hoping that it helps any of you out there that suffers from anything and encourage you to reach out and talk to others like yourself because this life can really be beautiful. If we all just talk and let it out so others see that it’s ok to share and we are not alone in this suffering:) spent the morning curled in my dark closet feeling like I just didn’t want to be here anymore but I know that this shitty feeling will leave and my day will get better and I hope you all know that your days will get better as well. you just need to find what gets you through those moments in life. hope you all have a great day. Also thank you to everyone that has reached out and shared with me on my page I really appreciate all the love and support.”
Kelly Slater Has Posted a Heartbreaking Message to His ‘Other Brother’
Shortly after the news of Garcia’s hospitalization broke, his friend Kelly Slater took to social media to share the following heartbreaking message.
“Sunny… I love you, brother. I just can’t even fathom you not here. We’ve got so much more living to do before we are done. There’s been hard times but there have been so many good ones, too. Just praying you wake up and we get more of you,” Slater captioned an Instagram post.
Several other members of the surfing community have taken to social media to post about Garcia, offering their thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
Garcia Was Inducted Into the Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame in 2015
In 2015, Garcia was inducted into the Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame. Over the course of his career, he has won the Triple Crown of Surfing six times, most recently in 2004.
The 49-year-old has been part of the surf crowd for more than 30 years. He is described as “one of Hawaii’s most accomplished and well-known representatives in the sport,” by USA Today.