If you follow competitive surfing, you’re probably aware that the two-time World Champion, John John Florence, has once again injured his knee.
It isn’t the same knee that sidelined him in 2018, but John swiftly flew home to Hawaii from Western Australia to undergo surgery on what is rumoured to be an ACL tear incurred mid-heat at Margaret River. Because of this, John John is probably out for the Olympics— meaning the GOAT Kelly Slater is in—but the more interesting part of this story is the recovery method John is adopting. Before we go there, though, I must remind you of the chef-turned-fascist sympathiser, Pete Evans.
In 2015, Pete was a celebrity chef with a paleo bent. By 2020 he was a Covid-denier, Trump lover, and pedalled conspiracies for his own financial benefit to whoever would listen (which just happened to include Australian politicians). At some point at the beginning of the pandemic, Pete took to social media to spruik a treatment for the novel-coronavirus: a big fuck-off $15,000 lamp known as a ‘BioCharger’.
The machine claims to ‘[replicate] light, frequencies, harmonics, pulsed electromagnetic fields and voltage that are found in nature, for a variety of treatments’ which apparently ‘optimise potential health.’ Pete however went a step further, claiming ‘it’s programmed with a thousand different recipes and there’s a couple in there for the Wuhan coronavirus.’ This statement, along with selling the glorified lava lamp on his website, landed him a $25,000 fine from the Therapeutic Goods Administration for making baseless claims about the product. And now, 12 months later, John John Florence is using one of these same machines on his knee! He mustn’t have grabbed it from Pete Evans’ website—they were removed after the $25,000 fine—but it’s nice to know he’s using evidence-supported treatments to get back in the water sooner.
Here’s hoping with a hefty dosage of light directed at John’s knee and a steady regime of activated almonds and chia seeds he will be fit and ready for the 2024 Olympics. If instead, he wants to be ready for the 2021 Olympics, a word of advice from the president of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners might help: ‘As I have stated previously, this “light machine” doesn’t do anything but drain your wallet.’