This article first appeared on theworldgames.org.
Surfer Bruno Hansen (Denmark) won an unprecedented fifth World Championship in a row for the Prone discipline at the World ParaSurfing Championships in March in California, USA. Hansen won his latest world title with a victory margin of almost six points, a gigantic difference in a sport in which the maximum score available is 20. More than deservedly, he is our Athlete of March 2020!
Bruno Hansen, who was born in Zimbabwe in 1971, has always been at home on the water, learning to surf as a child on a crocodile-infested lake. Through the 1970s, he spent a wild childhood experiencing terrorist bombing attacks as well as lions, leopards, elephants and baboons on his walks to school. His parents survived a passenger airplane crash, and the family later fled war into South Africa where he finished school and studied mechanical engineering. He also served in the South African and Danish navies.
When Bruno Hansen was 27, he became paralyzed from the waist down in a botched carjacking, and his doctors told him that he would never walk again. This led him to fall into a state of depression. For years he considered suicide, and one day, he tried to end his life in the ocean, using a borrowed longboard to paddle out to deep water. By accident, he ended up surfing back in to shore and realized, slowly, that he might have found a new calling.
Since then, Hansen has won numerous competitions, his pinnacle of success being the five-times sequence in the World ParaSurfing Championships. Besides sports achievements, in 2004 he survived the Asian Tsunami alone on a yacht on the Thai shore. He is really living according to his determination: “You can still do the things you used to do, just do them differently.”
Bruno Hansen will receive The World Games Athlete of the Month diploma as well as a branded gift from the Official Sponsor of Athlete of the Month, Protective Life.