November 3rd, 2010
11:25 AM ET

Wednesday's intriguing people

Andy Irons

The surfing world is mourning the loss of triple world champion Andy Irons, who died unexpectedly at 32. Irons had withdrawn from an event amid concerns that he and others on the tour contracted dengue fever and was returning home to Hawaii when he was found dead in an airport hotel while he had a layover in Dallas, Texas. It was unclear if he died from the illness or from something else. Officials said they were investigating the death.

Irons was known for his battles with world-renowned nine-time champion Kelly Slater, one of the people who got him into surfing.

"It's all about the feeling I get from riding that wave," Irons said in a video for one of the tours called "I Surf Because." "That first wave is the reason why I think everyone keeps coming back."

And making a comeback is just what Irons had done. He had taken a year off, and admittedly struggled with some personal problems, but said getting back into surfing was what helped him get through it.

"I have a lot of inner demons. If I didn't have surfing to get those out of my system, I would self-destruct," he said in the video. "Surfing's the only reason that keeps me going at a normal state. It keeps my life at an even keel; without it, it would just tip into oblivion."

Alecia Beth Moore (Pink)

Singer Alecia Beth Moore, who goes by the stage name Pink, is making headlines and getting a lot of support online for her latest video. She says "Raise Your Glass" celebrates society's "underdogs," and it tells them to "raise your glass if you are wrong in all the right ways."

In the video, she dons Rosie the Riveter attire, performs at a gay wedding, acts rocker-chic, goes geek and wears other stereotypical attire as she attempts to empower youths who are feeling alone. And that's something Pink has said she's known too well.

"Whatever the case may be, there's nothing cooler than a pair of effed-up teeth or freckles," she told MTV before the video premiered, admitting that she's always been far from perfect.

While it isn't quite the loud statement some other stars have been making (or trying to make) in their videos (see Kanye West and Lady Gaga), Pink's attempt to stand by her core demo and tell them it's OK jibes perfectly with the anti-bullying campaign that's been sweeping the country. (And yeah, it also has some provocative scenes.)

And she's making a few political statements in the video, too. At one point, she tries to wrestle a massive sumo wrestler.

"The sumo wrestler represents Wall Street, the big banks," she told MTV. "It's the middle-class working family against 'the man.' "

Esther Vergeer

Esther Vergeer, 26, is one of the most dominant athletes in the world, yet you probably have no idea who she is.

Outside of those who compete against her, she remains virtually unknown. That's despite her mind-blowing run of 396 consecutive wins and the fact she hasn't lost a single tennis match since 2003.

The Dutchwoman is now making headlines. But this time, it's for what she's done off the court, not on it.  In fact, it's mostly due to her appearance on ESPN Magazine's 2010 "Body Issue" publication, where a naked Vergeer holds a strategically placed tennis racket. She is the most dominant player that wheelchair tennis has ever seen, yet her inclusion in a magazine that has prominent athletes bare their bodies has created as many headlines as anything she has achieved in her illustrious career.

soundoff (97 Responses)
  1. Ohplease

    Patricia, what completely ignorant things to say about an entire group of people in general. I surf and have never, nor will I ever do drugs, neither do the people I surf with. How can you make such all-encompassing statements? Have you met every surfer in the world? No.

    November 3, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. SurfKnut

    Based on all the comments...he clearly overdosed on a a new drug that genetically splices dengue fever with cocaine to come up with denguecocaine.

    November 3, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. steve

    look, he contracted dengue in Bali quite a while ago. This was NOT a dengue death. AI had a known issue with oxy and other pills. While sad, this is not a surprise to anyone who knows the world of pro surfing. That said, Patricia is wrong in stating that pro surfers as a whole are into hard core drugs. Andy was more of an exception than the rule.

    November 3, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      steve: according to published reports, he was actually diagnosed with dengue fever in Puerto Rico, and left from there to Miami for an IV. He then booked another flight to Hawaii to see his personal physician, but he was too sick to make the connection in Dallas due to fever and vomiting.

      The medical examiner states that methadone was found in the room, in a pill bottle. It will take up to three months to determine how much, if any, was in his blood stream. Given the fact that he had to alter his flight plans due to the symptoms of this deadly illness, it is odd that you are able rule it out as a cause of death. Perhaps you have expert knowledge about the disease...?

      November 3, 2010 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. SurfKnut

    Patricia is correct...didn't you see Point Break? I bet he was also involved in several bank robberies.

    November 3, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brandon

      Well played, sir. RIP Andy. Cause of death doesn't change who you were and what you did for surfing.

      November 3, 2010 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. steve timmons

    so much for his new house he just built in kauai

    November 3, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Michelle

    Rest in peace Andy irons, my heart goes out to your wife and family and un born baby xoxo

    November 3, 2010 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  7. IndypendentJones


    November 3, 2010 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Fan

    This is a tragic day for Andy Irons and his family and friends. Unbelievable you all would carry on about a typeo. My heart is with all mourning his death. He is peacefully surfing and watching over all of you.

    November 3, 2010 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Emma are insane!!! Thanks for generalizing "surfers" as drug addicts... you OBVIOUSLY dont know many!!! In every kind of group, class, or genre of people there will be addicts...that does NOT MEAN all of them are!!! I cant BELIEVE the way some people are going about this. Andy was an AMAZING surfer AND person in every way possible...he inspired MANY people with his way of life and his one will EVER be able to top some of the things he has brought to the surfing world. IT WAS NOT AN OVERDOSE...and you starting those PATHETIC rumors before anything is even CONFIRMED is should be ashamed of yourself for talking about someone who has just passed like that. Its embarrassing actually. His poor wife and soon to be child has to deal with people like YOU bad-mouthing his name for reasons you can't even be positive about. GET A LIFE and leave Andy's alone...RIP will be missed GREATLY and you can now forever ride that barrel into oblivion...WE LOVE YOU & ALWAYS WILL.

    November 4, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Boohoohoo

    What an alarming amount of static posted here – the entire focus shifted from eulogizing a surfing great, to bickering back and forth like a bunch of whiney, snot-nosed, spoiled brats.
    Unbelievable. RIP Andy.

    November 7, 2010 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |

    Wednesdays intriguing people 32.. Bang-up 🙂

    April 19, 2011 at 6:15 am | Report abuse |
  12. Salvatore

    Passion for writing is a good thing. Passion for what you write is an amziang thing. It's evident by the way you have written this article that you have both.

    July 14, 2012 at 1:52 am | Report abuse |
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