Three-time world surfing champion and now to be known as Mick Fanning, Officer of the order of Australia – that’s the news that Mick’s mother Liz Osbourne had the proud honour of delivering to him ahead of this year’s Australia Day commemorations and celebrations.
Fanning joins with fellow Australian former world surfing champion Layne Beachley as one of the few surfers to ever have the honour bestowed upon them.
“He wasn’t sure and when I told him it was the second top civilian honour, he was just speechless,” Liz told the Gold Coast Bulletin.
She added, “I said ‘Mick, you’re 35 years old, people wait a lifetime for this’ and he said ‘I can’t believe how honoured I am’ and I said ‘you know what, Mick? I’m honoured that you’re my son’.”
The honour is not just for his surfing achievements, but is deeply rooted in Mick’s charity work and his outward penchant for helping others.
Fanning rifles through another Snapper Rocks barrel (top) and here, he always draws a crowd when he’s doing his thing at Snapper // Photos Luke Sorensen
Mick works with and assists such organisations as the Starlight Foundation, Wings for Life spinal cord research and Cure for Motor Neuron Disease.
He told the Gold Coast Bulletin he was “chuffed and very honoured” to be receiving the honour.
Congratulations to Mick Fanning AO !!!