Dave Mirra

David Michael Mirra (April 4, 1974 – February 4, 2016) was an American BMX rider who also competed in rallycross racing. He set the record for most medals in BMX Freestyle at the X Games (later tied by Scotty Cranmer), and earned at least one BMX medal at the event in all but one year from the competition's inception in 1995 until 2009.[1] He had also competed for several years with the Subaru Rally Team USA as a rallycross driver. Mirra rode for and was fully sponsored by Haro Bikes from the mid-1990s until starting his own bike company. He was a member of the team which won the 2014 Race Across America four-person male (under 50) category. Mirra died by suicide on February 4, 2016.[2] He was inducted into the BMX Hall of Fame on June 11, 2016.[3]

Dave Mirra
Dave Mirra 2010-08-21 001.jpg
Mirra in 2010
Personal information
NationalityAmerican
Born(1974-04-04)April 4, 1974
Chittenango, New York
DiedFebruary 4, 2016(2016-02-04) (aged 41)
Greenville, North Carolina
OccupationExtreme sports athlete
Height5 ft 9 in (175 cm)
Websitewww.davemirra.com
Sport
SportBMX, Rallycross
Medal record
Summer X Games
Representing  United States
Gold medal – first place 1996 Newport BMX Park
Gold medal – first place 1997 San Diego BMX Park
Gold medal – first place 1997 San Diego BMX Vert
Gold medal – first place 1998 San Diego BMX Park
Gold medal – first place 1998 San Diego BMX Vert
Gold medal – first place 1998 San Diego BMX Vert Doubles
Gold medal – first place 1999 San Francisco BMX Park
Gold medal – first place 1999 San Francisco BMX Vert
Gold medal – first place 2000 San Francisco BMX Park
Gold medal – first place 2001 Philadelphia BMX Vert
Gold medal – first place 2002 Philadelphia BMX Vert
Gold medal – first place 2004 Los Angeles BMX Park
Gold medal – first place 2004 Los Angeles BMX Vert
Gold medal – first place 2005 Los Angeles BMX Park
Silver medal – second place 1995 Newport BMX Vert
Silver medal – second place 1996 Newport BMX Vert
Silver medal – second place 2000 San Francisco BMX Vert
Silver medal – second place 2003 Los Angeles BMX Vert
Silver medal – second place 2005 Los Angeles BMX Vert Best Trick
Silver medal – second place 2008 Los Angeles BMX Big Air
Bronze medal – third place 2003 Los Angeles BMX Park
Bronze medal – third place 2007 Los Angeles BMX Park
Bronze medal – third place 2008 Los Angeles RCR Racing
Bronze medal – third place 2009 Los Angeles BMX Big Air
Updated on February 5, 2016.

Early lifeEdit

Mirra was born on April 4, 1974 in Chittenango, New York.[4] He graduated from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona).[5]

In the 1990s, Mirra's brother, Tim, moved to Greenville, North Carolina, to attend East Carolina University. Dave moved to Greenville soon after.[1] Fellow professional BMX rider Ryan Nyquist moved in with Tim. Mirra and Nyquist became quick friends and would build and ride ramps together. Greenville is now home to over twenty professional BMX riders.[6] This gave Greenville the nickname "Protown" in the BMX community.[7]

CareerEdit

While still living in Chittenango, Mirra joined the Haro Bikes BMX team in 1987, at the age of 13. Video producers Plywood Hoods featured him in their videos in 1988. Mirra gained a sponsorship from Vision Street Wear in 1989.[8] He was also sponsored by GT Bicycles through 1991, and then joined Hoffman Bikes in 1992 before re-signing with Haro in 1994.[8]

Mirra turned professional in 1992. He won at least one medal at the X Games in every year from 1995 through 2009, with the exception of 2006,[1] after being injured during a practice run.[9] In 2005, Mirra won the Best Male Action Sports Athlete ESPY Award.[10] He tied Tony Hawk and Joe Parsons as the fastest to reach 14 X Games medals,[8] and his 24 total medals at the X Games stood as a record until 2013.[11] He shares the record for most gold medals at the Summer X Games, with a total of 14 (tied with Bob Burnquist and Jamie Bestwick).[12][13] He retired from BMX riding in 2011.[8]

 
Mirra's Subaru rally car

From 2008 through 2013, Mirra competed in rallying and rallycross as a member of Subaru Rally Team USA. He had a career-best fourth-place finish during the 2013 Global RallyCross Championship.[8] Mirra became interested in Ironman competitions, competing in his first triathlon in March 2013.[11][14] He qualified for the 2014 Ironman 70.3 World Championship.[13]

Mirra's success took him to numerous outlets besides riding his bike, such as hosting two seasons of MTV's Real World/Road Rules Challenge. He is featured in the Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX video game series and more recently appeared in the 2009 video game Colin McRae: Dirt 2.[15] He published a photo-biography titled "Mirra Images",[16] and was once one of People magazine's "50 Hottest Bachelors".[17] In the mid 2000s, Mirra signed an endorsement deal with DC Shoes after leaving Adidas. In 2007, he started his own bike company called MirraCo.[8][18]

Personal life and deathEdit

Mirra and his wife, Lauren, had two daughters.[11] Mirra contracted bacterial meningitis in 2010. He recovered before resuming rally racing.[17]

On February 4, 2016, Mirra died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in Greenville, North Carolina at the age of 41.[19] Authorities responded to a reported suicide and discovered his body inside his black Ford F-150.[20] He had reportedly been visiting friends in the area. Allen Thomas, the mayor of Greenville, called Mirra "a great friend and wonderful human being".[8][11][21]

Mirra was posthumously diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).[22] In addition to the "countless" concussions he suffered during his career, his skull was fractured when he was hit by a car at 19 years old, and he also competed in boxing as an amateur. He became the first action sports star to be diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease.[23]

Mirra's wife chose to support several charitable causes in her late husband's memory including CTE research, Road 2 Recovery Foundation, and More Than Sport.[24]

City officials in Greenville, North Carolina are working on plans to create an action sports park to honor Mirra's legacy.[25] The first phase would include the skate and BMX facilities and parking, restroom and concession facilities.[25]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Castleberry, Tony (February 4, 2016). "Dave Mirra dead". The Daily Reflector. Archived from the original on February 6, 2016. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  2. ^ "The Legends of the Road". raceacrossamerica.org. Archived from the original on February 5, 2016. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  3. ^ "Dave Mirra inducted into BMX Hall of Fame". wnct.com. Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  4. ^ DAVE MIRRA @ 23MAG BMX. 23mag.com
  5. ^ Facts & Statistics Archived September 19, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. collegeprowler.com
  6. ^ "Recreation and Parks". Greenville. August 14, 2013. Archived from the original on September 2, 2013. Retrieved September 13, 2013.
  7. ^ "Ams Take Over Pro Town, USA for Gatorade Free Flow Tour". Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g "X Games icon Dave Mirra, 41, dead of apparent self-inflicted gunshot". ESPN. February 5, 2016. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  9. ^ Carberry, Joe (February 5, 2016). "Dave Mirra's death leaves the action sports world looking for answers". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
  10. ^ "Dave Mirra Takes Home ESPY for Best Male Action Sports Athlete of the Year 07-15-05". Ride BMX. July 15, 2005.
  11. ^ a b c d Los Angeles Times (February 4, 2016). "BMX and X Games star Dave Mirra dies at 41 in apparent suicide". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  12. ^ "Most gold medals won X Games (summer)". Guinness World Records. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
  13. ^ a b "X Games biker and BMX star Dave Mirra dies". Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  14. ^ Ryan Wallerson (June 4, 2015). "Life after BMX: Dave Mirra's journey to the top of Ironman is underway". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  15. ^ Michael McWhertor. "BMX athlete Dave Mirra dies at 41 of apparent suicide". Polygon. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  16. ^ "USATODAY.com - Dave Mirra 'goes big' for bicycle safety". Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  17. ^ a b Alex Johnson. "BMX Legend Dave Mirra Dead of Suspected Suicide". NBC News. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  18. ^ "RIP: BMX Legend Dave Mirra Has Been Found Dead - TheVine". TheVine. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  19. ^ Zack. "The BMX Legend, Dave Mirra (41) Dies". 8c.co.za. Archived from the original on March 12, 2016. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  20. ^ Slotnik, Daniel E. (February 5, 2016). "David Mirra, BMX Bike Star, Dies in an Apparent Suicide". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  21. ^ "Dave Mirra, BMX icon, found dead in North Carolina". ABC7 Los Angeles. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  22. ^ "Dave Mirra, BMX Icon's Death Reported Again Three Years After It Happened". Grit Daily. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  23. ^ Roenigk, Alyssa (May 24, 2016). "Doctors: Late BMX legend Mirra had CTE". ESPN.com. Retrieved May 24, 2016.
  24. ^ "Dave Mirra - Charities". davemirra.com. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  25. ^ a b "City begins process for Mirra-inspired action park - Daily Reflector". www.reflector.com. Retrieved October 14, 2019.

External linksEdit