BMX Legend Dave Mirra Dead of Apparent Suicide at Age 41
BMX and X Games legend Dave Mirra died on Thursday at the age of 41 of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Police in Greenville, North Carolina, were responding to a call about a possible suicide when they found his body in a truck.
Just a few hours earlier Mirra had been visiting friends in the area. He had also posted a few photos on Instagram not long before his death, including one of himself and his wife, Lauren, with whom he had two children.
Mirra was a brilliant BMX rider. In 1987, at the age of just 13, he joined the Haro Bikes BMX team. In 1988, at the age of 14, he was discovered by a group of pioneering BMX video producers known at the Plywood Hoods. And in 1989, at the age of 15, he was signed by GT Bicycles and flown to competitions all over the country.
In December 1993, Mirra was struck by a drunk driver, suffering a fractured skull that nearly ended his career. However, six months later he had made a full recovery. And in 1995 his life changed forever.
That summer Mirra won a silver medal at the inaugural X Games in Newport Rhode Island, which inspired him to start taking his career more seriously. From there he would go on to win 24 X Games medals, including 14 gold, from 1995 to 2009. Mirra’s 14 golds is second all-time behind Shaun White. His total of 24 is second all-time behind Bob Burnquist. And Mirra and White are the only two athletes in X Games history to win multiple gold medals across three different games.
X Games broadcaster ESPN released a statement on Mirra’s passing:
Dave Mirra, your courage, determination and natural skill in everything you pursued pushed the world of action sports to become a better place. From all of us at X Games and ESPN, we salute your contributions. Our sincere condolences go out to Dave’s wife, Lauren, his daughters Mackenzie and Madison, the BMX community and friends of Dave Mirra.
Greenville Mayor Allen Thomas also issued a statement:
We mourn the loss today of a great friend and wonderful human being who touched the lives of so many around the world with his gift. He called Greenville, North Carolina home and was as humble a guy talking with kids on a street corner about bikes as he was in his element on the world stage. A young life with so much to offer was taken too soon.
If you or anyone you know is thinking of suicide, don’t wait until it’s too late. The U.S. National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255.
Hat Tip – [Guardian]