In the Pro-BMX world, Dave Mirra was a living legend. The extreme sports athlete took home a medal at each of the X Games from 1995 to 2009. Incredibly, he was the record-holder for most X Games medals until Bob Burnquist pushed him aside in 2013. Unfortunately, his remarkable career and life came to a sudden and unexpected end this week.
Mirra’s fans were left shocked and in mourning when the Greenville Police Department posted a press release on Thursday, February 4, 2016. They reported that the star was found in his car around 4pm and that he appeared to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was just 41 years old.
The City of Greenville’s mayor, Allen Thomas, made the following 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 a humble 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 to soon.”
So often, people are shocked when someone takes their own life. While the sufferer may have felt their feelings of despair growing, to others, it may feel like their suicide came out of nowhere. For example, just hours before turning a gun on himself, Mirra posted a photograph of himself and his wife from high school on Instagram along with the caption: “My rock! Thank God.” In hindsight, it may seem like Mirra was hinting that something was bothering him, that he was grateful for his wife’s support.
As mentioned, he was hugely successful at the X Games which celebrate extreme sports. A BMX pioneer, Mirra was known for his vert ramp and park rider style. Until creating his own bike company, he was sponsored by Haro Bikes and was part of a team that won the 2014 Race Across America (Four-Person Male under 50 category)
It wasn’t just about riding on two wheels, though. Mirra also competed as a car driver on the Subaru Rally Team USA. Along with his sports career, he also served as host of MTV’s Real World/Road Rule Challenge for two seasons.
Along with his many adoring fans, Mirra is survived by his wife and two children.