Occy's Tribute Page www.billabong.com.au/occy/
Birth date: Thursday
Height: 5' 9"
Sponsors: Billabong, Globe, Hoven, FCS, Vodafone
Years Pro: 19
Favorite Spot: Kirra, D-Bah (Aus), G-Land (Indo), Pipe (Hi)
Vehicle: BMW xs/ Toyota Prado
Who or what inspires you? My family and perfect waves.
Who do you look up to? Kelly Slater and Gordon Merchant
No Aussie surf icon has captured the hearts and minds of as many people as Mark Occhilupo. The man will go down as one of surfing's greats.
June 16, 1966
A young fella by the name of Mark Occhilupo emerges into the world, what will the future hold in store for him.......
His long and turbulent career began at the age of 9 when he first began surfing the beachie's of Cronulla near his home in Kurnell in southern Sydney.
But it wasn't until he flagged school at year 10 and packed his bags for tour life at the age of 16 that he began turning heads. The blond headed goofy footer was being earmarked to shake the pro surfing scene in the following years to come.
With a strong reputation now in place, the now 21 year old scored a part in the Hollywood surf flick 'North Shore'. Occ found himself setting the pace for world surfing along with another legend of that time, Tom Curren.
But from around now, things began to fall apart. Occy slowly dropped out of world surfing and disappeared into oblivion. Over the next several years he battled obesity and depression as well as other personal struggles. It looked as if Occ was throwing away one of the brightest possible careers ever held by an athlete.
Although by the time 1995 had come around he was back. Through rigorous training, dedication and a heap of bloody hard work made the Billabong Challenge his own welcome back party to the delight of admirers and fans all over the world.
This year he rated 20th on the WQS and also won the Pipe contest after fighting his way through the trials. During his resurgence, 'The Raging Bull' teamed up with Jack McCoy to produce 'Occumentary', a full-featured film capturing his life as a surfer
The year ended with Occy sitting at number 2 behind a Mr Kelly Slater. Not only was he back in the game, but was desperately close to a world title and regaining that dominating level of surfing he was once renowned for.
After a career with more ups and downs than a Dreamworld roller coaster, it had finally peaked. Mark Occhilupo had won the world title, a long time overdue many people thought.
Occy's partner Mae gives birth to baby Jay, he is now a daddy. Jay would later be christened on the sand of J-Bay, which is where the little guy was conceived.
Occy and Mae are married, he's now also a husband. The wedding list on the day read like a 'Who's who of pro surfing', with fellow 'CT shredder Luke Egan being best man and long time mate Margo groomsman.
At the beginning of 2005, the man announced that this year would be his last. Having accomplished everything he started out to do and also to finish on a high note while his surfing is still strong were reasons cited for his retirement.
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