Mick Fanning & Joel Parkinson inducted into Gold Coast Sporting Hall of Fame  

TWO of the original Coolangatta Kids have been inducted into the Gold Coast Sporting Hall of Fame.

Surfing world champions and great mates Mick Fanning and Joel ‘Parko’ Parkinson became the fifth and sixth surfers honoured with Hall of Fame status at a ceremony at Coolangatta on Thursday.

Their inductions were announced by Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate.

“Mick and Joel have done so much for their sport, in and out of the waves,” Councillor Tate said.

“I know their passion to help the groms, particularly down the southern end, is greatly appreciated by those emerging champions.

“They are both champion Gold Coasters and worthy inductees and my congratulations go to Mick and Joel.”

And according to Gold Coast Sporting Hall of Fame president Daphne Pirie AO MBE, the rare double induction is a fitting tribute to two great careers carved out on the same Gold Coast waves.

“We rarely induct two athletes at the same time, but Mick and Joel have gone from being close childhood friends to the top of the surfing and business worlds together, with extraordinary challenges met by both along the way,” Ms Pirie said.

“Their stories of nurturing their talents and overcoming adversities on and off the waves are truly remarkable and deserve being preserved in this way to inspire future generations,” she said.

The induction of Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson into the Gold Coast Sporting Hall of Fame also coincides with the announcement by the Hall and Sports Gold Coast of the 53rd Gold Coast Sports Star awards night.

Having missed the annual Awards for the first time in its history this year due to the worldwide disruption of sport in 2021, both Hall President Daphne Pirie and Chair of Sports Gold Coast, Geoff Smith, announced that the event will be held next year at RACV Royal Pines Resort on Wednesday 2 March 2022.

“The awards night is a unique opportunity for the Gold Coast community to unite in the celebration of its world champions and achievements in all facets of sport in our city,” Ms Pirie said.

Geoff Smith urged the citizens of the Gold Coast to support the awards by purchasing a table or seat.

“It is important that the Gold Coast gets behind both its elite and community sport clubs for this event, he said.

“And I’d like to publicly thank the City of Gold Coast Council for its funding to make it affordable for community clubs to attend such a prestigious event.”

Mick Fanning AO 

Mick Fanning put the finishing touches to his remarkable Championship Tour career at the 2018 Rip Curl Pro 17 years after winning the event as a wildcard.

In the process, he cemented his legacy as one of Australia’s greatest surfing heroes.

Fanning emerged from a deep pool of talent based out of Coolangatta as one of The Coolangatta Kids band of brothers alongside fellow legends-in-waiting, Dean Morrison and Joel Parkinson, to earn his 2001 wildcard entry into the Bells event as a star Rip Curl team rider.

He qualified for the Tour that same year and spent the better part of the next two decades as one of the biggest gravitational forces in the sport, racking up 22 Tour wins, 11 Top 5 finishes and three World Titles in 2007, 2009 and 2013.

In 2018, Fanning announced his retirement from full-time competition at Bells to bookend his journey.
Joel Parkinson 

Joel ‘Parko’ Parkinson is regarded as one of the most naturally gifted and stylish surfers to grace the sport.

And his story is a sporting classic.

He started surfing as a child on his father’s board, before the Palm Beach Currumbin State High student started competing with his friends Morrison and Fanning – a childhood that would soon see the trio surfing some of the finest pointbreaks on the planet.

Parkinson had finished runner-up for the ASP World Title an astonishing four times between 2002 and 2011, the most heartbreaking of those in 2009 when he led the rankings all year only to injure an ankle in the mid-summer break and lose the world title to best mate Fanning in the final event of the year at Pipeline.

It’s a measure of the man that having had the title taken from his grasp only minutes before and broken down in tears, he dusted himself off, pulled himself together, and walked to the water’s edge to chair Fanning up the beach.

But his time would soon come. In 2012 he went into the last event of the season – the Billabong Pipeline Masters – leading the ratings by a whisker, this time from 11-time world champion Kelly Slater.

In one of the most drama-packed days in pro surfing history, Parko’ and Slater traded the lead in the world title race four times, but when Slater eventually fell short in his semi-final it was Parko’ who was crowned World Champion.

About the Gold Coast Sporting Hall of Fame  

The Gold Coast Sporting Hall of Fame was established in 1999 to protect the city’s ultra-rich sporting heritage.

It houses Queensland’s only officially recognised Olympic Room.

The historic displays are in a beautiful Old Queenslander at Mick Veivers Way at Southport and weekday visits are welcome for a gold coin donation.

The facility also houses the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Legacy Hall – a tribute to the XXI Games.

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