Wonder Boy’s last trick: Dave Mirra committed suicide
“The rock and roll star must die,” is the song in one of the songs of the Spleen group. After death, an ordinary star will become a real legend. Partly the same, as stated in the song, the “axiom” applies to sports, especially to its extreme varieties.
On Thursday, February 4, 2016, extreme cyclist Dave Mirra became a legend. The body of the famous biker was found in his own van in the area where he allegedly visited friends. Death came from a gunshot wound, which, according to the police, the 41-year-old athlete inflicted on himself.
Dave Mirra was born in a small provincial town of Chittenango in the state of New York in an average working American family. Mirra was the second child and grew up with an older brother named Tim. The boys knew the bitterness of the loss early, because when Dave was only four years old, his parents divorced – his mother left the family. The guys remained in the care of their father.
The boys grew up on the street, and only the silence of the provincial city saved them from bad company. Instead of drugs, local boys were fond of bicycles. It was precisely in the 80s of the last century that the first boom of experiments with tricks on the two-wheeled iron friends of man came. Dave and his older friends, whom he met thanks to his brother, began to upgrade their bikes with their own hands: they put wheels of smaller diameter on them, screwed pipe trunks on them, on which they could slide along the curbs and parapets, built homemade jumps and whole ramps. So in the United States a sport was born, which would later be called BMX.
In the state of New York, in this American wilderness man, 13-year-old Dave took part in the first competitions, where he did not win, but showed that at his young age he was already able to compete with professional bikers. He was immediately noticed by the first sponsors who quickly signed a contract with the boy and provided him with everything necessary for the development of abilities: the latest, no longer self-made, bicycles and spare parts for them.
Soon, Dave’s brother went to college and was forced to leave for the city of Greenville in North Carolina. He was followed by Dave, who was tired of his native Chittenango and the whole state of New York.
It just so happened that the famous professional rider Ryan Nyquist soon arrived in Greenville. Based on common hobbies, Ryan and Dave quickly became friends and began to develop together. Even then, the young Mirra was called only the Mirracle Boy, which can be translated into Russian as the Wonder Boy. The nickname was assigned to the athlete and did not leave him throughout his professional career.
The best of the best
Dave was only able to evaluate his true level of skill in 1995, when the first ever XGames Extreme World Games took place. Prior to this, there was no universally recognized championship, a victory in which would make you the best of the best in the country, not to mention the planet.
Naturally, Dave took part in such a grand event and returned home with a medal. By that time, about two dozen professional bikers had already settled in the new city of Dave, in Greenville, making the quiet town a real extreme Mecca.
From then until 2009, when Mirra decided to move away from the extreme, he took part in every XGames. And from each Olympics for extreme sportsmen, the athlete returned with at least one medal. As a result, he became a champion in the number of trophies won: 24 medals, of which 14 are gold. This record lasted until 2013, when Dave was beaten by skater Bob Burnquist.
Mirra was fond of not only cycling. Having reached a limit in it, becoming the real founder of the modern BMX movement, having opened his own bicycle company, he became interested in other sports. Dave’s second love was cars. He even took part in several rallies as a professional racer, often finishing on the podium. He also participated in modern triathlon competitions and even tried his hand at Ironman competitions, which are similar to the triathlon, but much more difficult: swimming at a distance of 3.86 kilometers, cycling on a highway of 180 kilometers and running at a marathon distance of 42.195 kilometers.
In the mid-2000s, Mirra was named one of the most respected magazines among America’s 50 most enviable bachelors. However, he soon lost this status by marrying a girl named Lauren, from whom he had two daughters.
Before his death, Dave published in his photoblog their common photo with his wife, accompanying her with the words: “My rock! Thank God”. Surprisingly, even a little earlier, he posted a photo from a boxing match, under which there was a signature that did not interfere with what he did a little later: “Fight for the victory! Each of us has his own battles. Never give up. I love you all. ”