Very sad news coming from the BMX and associated extreme sports community today, with word emerging that Dave Mirra, legendary BMX rider and one of the all-time great X-Games competitors, has passed away. He was just 41 years old.
Mirra was found by police in Greenville, North Carolina earlier today, he had been in the area visiting friends.
Dave Mirra’s career in BMX began in 1992 when the then-18-year-old turned professional. He was a standout in the field, and became one of the most decorated athletes in the history of the X-Games, winning a medal at every games from its inaugural event in 1995 right up until 2009 (save for a one year gap in 2006). Mirra’s 14 gold medals was an X-Games record up until 2013, and still stands as the second-most of all time.
Mirra’s career in the sport brought him widespread public attention – his popularity and notability, arguably, is second only to Mat Hoffman – and peaked at the turn of the millennium with the release of the video games Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX and Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2.
During this period, he also served as the host of MTV‘s reality competition show Real World/Road Rules Challenge for two seasons.
Later in his career, Mirra’s attention shifted from BMX riding to rally cars and ironman competitions.
Mirra’s friends and contemporaries have taken to social media to express their shock and heartbreak at the news of his passing.
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
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
I’m in complete shock. Angry, heart broken and just sad at the passing of my friend Dave. Heart broken 4 his daughters and wife. #DaveMirra
— Carey Hart (@hartluck) February 5, 2016
Shell shocked. In tears. Confused. I can’t believe this. My heart dies for his family. #davemirra
— Sal Masekela (@SalMasekela) February 5, 2016
— Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) February 5, 2016
One of the greatest to ever put feet to pedals. Rest in peace, Dave Mirra.
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Photo: Mark Mainz/Getty.