ICHINOMIYA: Australian Owen Wright had to relearn how to surf and walk after suffering a horrific brain injury in 2015 — now he’s an Olympic bronze medallist. Wright claimed a podium finish on Tuesday as surfing made its Olympic debut, beating Brazil’s world number one Gabriel Medina in a tense play-off at Tsurigasaki Beach. But the 31-year-old had times when he couldn’t even remember his name less than six years ago, after a huge wipeout in training left him with bleeding on the brain. “I didn’t count myself out — that’s the thing,” an emotional Wright said after the medal ceremony. “I guess that’s why I still imagined these big, lofty goals. Because I’ve come back from something that I wouldn’t expect to come back from anyway. I don’t mind aiming for the top.” Wright said his symptoms persisted for three years after the accident, with memory loss, motor issues and “a roller-coaster of emotions”. But he refused to give up on his dream of winning an Olympic medal, and kept himself going by visualising it around his neck. Wright said he and his team-mates had been given a pep talk by some of Australia’s Olympic legends, including Cathy Freeman.