2000 World Champion and 6-time Triple Crown Winner Vincent Sennen ‘Sunny’ Garcia is reportedly recovering in hospital in Oregon, after what has been reported – but not confirmed by official sources – as an attempted suicide.
Garcia went public with mental health issues including depression in 2014, and regularly uses his Instagram as a place to share his struggles. Sunny’s most recent post, yesterday (Mon 29th) features an iconic image of him as a skinny teen and read:
“If I told this kid the things he would go through and things he would achieve he would tell me I’m crazy lol Wow it’s been a crazy ride since this photo was taken.”
Despite several RIP posts from the social accounts of various high profile figures in surfing and MMA, following an erroneous post from a Brazilian media outlet that Garcia had taken his own life, it’s been widely reported this morning that Sunny is breathing without assistance.
Garcia grew up on the West side of Oahu and quickly made his mark on professional surfing, breaking into the coveted ASP Top 16 aged just 18.
Garcia went public over struggles with cocaine addiction in the 90’s, before winning the ASP World Title in 2000, only the second Hawaiian ever to do so, after Derek Ho.
He competed in the WSL Masters in the Azores last September, and has been active around pro surfing, travelling to Nazaré to support the Hawaiians during November’s Big Wave Tour Nazaré Challenge.
At the same time, his struggles with mental health issues have featured prominently in his Instagram, with a recent post from March stating.
“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…”
Suicide is the biggest killer among men under 45 in the UK, with an average of 12 men taking their own life every day.
If you need to talk to someone about these or other issues surrounding mental health, the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is the leading movement against male suicide.
Get well soon, Sunny.