One of the best BMX riders to ever play in the X Games, Dave Mirra was found dead yesterday from a gunshot wound that apparently was self-inflicted.
Growing up, I would always remember tuning in to ESPN just to watch Dave Mirra during the X Games. Along with Tony Hawk, Mirra was one of the sporting events biggest draws. The fact that he is now gone, just seems like a part of my youth has now been lost.
Dave Mirra’s 14 gold medals are tied for the second most in X Games history. pic.twitter.com/Gyqm0QbBgh
— X Games (@XGames) February 5, 2016
According to police reports, Mirra died due to an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. The 41-year old was found in a truck after policemen responded to reports from concerned citizens.
Dave Mirra was without a doubt one of the pioneers of world-class BMX riding. He first gained a following thanks to the Dorkin’ in York series of BMX videos. At the time being featured in the series meant that you were really good as a BMX ride. And boy was he good. In fact, he was so good that he eventually got sponsored by the Haro Bikes BMX team. Whether it was ramp riding or flatland, there wasn’t any other rider in Chittenango who was better than Mirra.
— Chris Fowler (@cbfowler) February 5, 2016
He then competed in the inaugural Extreme Games in 1994 but only took the Silver medal. The following year, the Extreme Games was renamed the X Games and this was when Mirra eventually made his mark as one of the sporting event’s best performers. Not only did he get gold this time around, he also laid the foundations of his legend. He pioneered some of the tricks that have now become the standard in BMX competitions.
Sponsorships and X Games Record.
Not long after getting gold after gold in the X Games, he was then approached by numerous companies offering to sponsor him. He eventually got a sponsorship from DC Shoes that netted him his own signature shoe line. This was during the early 2000s when the X Games and Extreme Sports were slowly reaching their peak.
It was also during this time (2004) that Dave Mirra set records in the annual sporting event. X Games X saw him take double gold medals and become the most decorated BMX rider in the event’s history (up until that point). His success was such that he even got to start his own bicycle brand called Mirraco. Additionally, he also released a book that chronicled his BMX riding journey that was aptly titled “Mirra Images.”
Life Outside BMX Riding And The X Games.
Injuries and a loss of love for the sport that he helped popularize eventually resulted in Dave’s exit out of the BMX riding scene. This didn’t stop his competitive drive though. He found himself actively pursuing his interest in Rally Car racing and competed in the X Games (2008 to 2013) and Global Rallycross Championships. Mirra eventually raced for the Subaru Rally Team USA for two years from 2012 to 2013. It was during his time as factory driver for the team that he got his best finish in the sport when he placed fourth during the 2013 Global Rallycross Championship series.
— Subaru (@subaru_usa) February 5, 2016
The Legacy that Dave Mirra Left.
I could go on about Dave Mirra and his accomplishments but what always struck me about him was his competitive spirit and humble attitude. Which is why it was shocking to know that he took his own life. As a young boy growing up, I really liked watching Dave do magical things on his BMX.
Goodbye Dave Mirra, a true pioneer, icon and legend. Thank you for the memories… we are heartbroken. pic.twitter.com/RHpTe7Qzwi
— Tony Hawk (@tonyhawk) February 5, 2016
Later on I outgrew my fascination for the sport and moved on to play basketball. However, I still kept my respect for Dave and the things he was able to do. He didn’t look like the most athletic person during the BMX Big Air or Vert events but he somehow pulled off some of the craziest stunts just to get the gold. Dave Mirra might be gone but I know that I wasn’t the only person he influenced.
Rest in peace Dave. Thanks for the memories!