Parko returns world champ
JOEL 'Parko' Parkinson landed by helicopter at the Gold Coast Airport on Wednesday to a huge welcome from family and a massive crowd support.
A sea of fans chanting "Parko" mobbed the airport terminal to catch a glimpse of the world surfing champion, who was visibly stunned to see the huge turnout for his arrival back on home soil.
Parkinson said that the support has been constant and he felt the title win was meant to be his this year.
"The support has been unbelievable," Parkinson said.
"It definitely felt like it was weighted my way."
The Coolangatta kid said he was proud to represent his home town.
"I'm always proud to represent Coolangatta," he said.
Parkinson did admit that the media attention was overwhelming, and he was looking forward to avoiding the spotlight for a while.
"I just want to get it all done and have a rest," he said
The label of role model sat well with the 2012 world champion.
"Hopefully I'll be able to tell the kids to go for it for it like I did," he said.
He said he was looking forward to escaping the "energy and the nervousness" of his title win.
Proud family met the champion at the airport to celebrate and welcome surfing's golden boy home.
Darryl Parkinson said he was proud of his nephew's win.
"Lots of water under the bridge to get to here," he said.
"I'm very proud, he's been after the title for a while. Plus, he seems to have got three quarters of Australia excited."