Dave Mirra: his life and his transitions to other sports

BMX is a sport where the riders use their bicycles to make stunts in ramps and half pipes. It is very similar to skateboarding but on top of a BMX type of bicycle. BMX stands for “bicycle motocross,” but it is also used to describe the extreme sport of riding a bicycle and racing down hills or on flat surfaces with obstacles and ramps specially located. These obstacles are then used to do tricks and different variations and moves. The sport has many icons which are getting famous by the minute.

One of those icons is Dave Mirra. We are going to talk about him because he represents what all the extreme sports participants want: to be successful in their sport and reach the top Rankings in the world while still having a very beautiful family and an amazing life ahead of them and not getting seriously injured when young. That is exactly what Dave Mirra represents. With the plus that even though he got injured and retired from being a professional BMXer at the age of 35, he continued his path by moving to car racing, rally cross and ironman competitions  and made a name for himself, proving that there are so many things an extreme sports athlete can do after they retire due to their commitment. This is his story and his success as a biker, a rally cross driver and a triathlon athlete.

Dave Mirra came to this world on April 4, 1974, in the small city of  Chittenango in  New York. Although he was born in the east coast, he went to the university in Pomona California where he earned his degree. Then, his brother had the crazy idea of studying in Greenville, North Carolina in the  East Carolina University. Dave followed his brother and moved to where he was. While living in Greenville he met who would be his partner in many professional events and sponsorships, Ryan Nyquist who also moved in with Dave Mirra´s brother. He and Mirra became the best of friends and started building ramps so they could practice their sport and try crazy new tricks.

His pro career started in 1987 when he went to a  General Bikes show in Syracuse.  When he was just waiting for the contest to begin and goofing around trying tricks, Fred Blood, who was one of the company’s sponsored professional rider saw him and noticed his ease at performing his tricks. Then, at the contest, someone saw Dave Mirra try a trick called double decade understood that they had to have him on the team. Nobody was trying that kind of trick and especially not at contests and especially not while goofing around and warming up for the contest. That same year Haro bikes made him part of the team and got more benefits such as bikes of his own, spare parts, and paid expenses to contests and trips.


Image courtesy of www.dirally.com at Flickr.com

As for the 1990s, Mirra was lucky that the X games started to be a recognized contest and they hosted the first ever X games event in 1995. Mirra competed in that event and took 3rd place, but this was the start of his nickname “miracle boy” because after that contest the biking world was just saturated with Mirra´s talent and tricks.  Soon after the X games and all the media coverage, he signed a sponsorship deal with Reebok and became even more famous. Mirra just dominated the X games competitions earning more than 8 gold medals between 1997 and the year 2000. He was even  featured on The Late Show with David Letterman.  By the year 2005, Dave Mirra had won 18 medals in the X Games  and 13 of those were golden and had been World Champion on several occasions.

He officially retired in the year 2010 and committed all his energy to rally cross racing and to triathlons. He was successful at rally cross as part of the Subaru racing team winning a bronze medal in the event at the 2008 X Games. Then he went to drive with the mini team where he reached qualifying times and had very good places in each race.

In 2012, Mirra started training with a coach for 2013, 70.3-mile Bay Shore Triathlon, in Long Beach, California. He finished in 4th place and he was so happy that he called his wife from the finish line. He also competed in the Raleigh Ironman in 2013 and changed coaches for 2014, 70.3 World Championship in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec.

A lot of people tend to think that extreme sports athletes are just kids with talents and no discipline. Dave Mirra proved the whole world wrong by being the best and most committed to his BMX sport and then being successful in races that require 200% discipline like half ironmans and full marathons.

Be sure to also read this post on 3 actors that were very successful athletes.