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Feb 4, 2016: Cycling hero shoots himself
- Updated: February 4, 2017
On February 4, 2016, superstar BMX rider Dave Mirra shot himself in his truck aged just 41 in Greenville, California.
The best as they say are doomed to die young and this tragic fact is especially true in the world of sports and entertainment.
Born David Michael Mirra on April 4, 1974 in Chittenenango, New York, much like other kids, he spent the majority of his childhood riding bikes and having playful fun.
Soon came an exciting sight as others in town began riding BMX. He saw this, fell irrevocably in love and learnt the ropes so fast and skillfully that he was soon inventing his own tricks and performing incredible stunts. No wonder he was eventually dubbed the ‘Miracle Boy’.
In a couple of years, the BMX revolution really took off with a whoosh and got mainstream.
Mirra, who had extraordinary sense of focus and commitment, was poised to reap the very juicy fruits.
In 1987, his first sponsorship started him on the road to BMX heaven. He soon joined the Plywood Hoods which was a BMX riding group. At the age of 14, he starred in a popular underground BMX video of theirs.
Five years later, he turned pro and enjoyed a phenomenal level of success. Tragedy, however, came knocking in 1993 when he was knocked down by a drunk driver.
He got a fractured skull and a torn shoulder and there were genuine doubts he would survive. He did, though it took six grueling months before he would ride again.
In 1994, he moved to Greenville, North Carolina and signed on with Haro, who built a well-equipped facility for their prime star to train on.
The next year, the first X Games was held and Mirra took home the silver medal. From there, he never looked back. Altogether, he won 24 medals at the X Games, including 14 gold.
Additionally, Mirra has been named World Champion an astounding ten times and has won virtually every medal and award in the BMX universe.
Other than BMX, he has competed in triathlons and Ironman competitions, as well as rally racing to varying degrees of success.
The end came for the superstar as following a friendly visit in Greenville, he had walked back into his truck and shot himself.
He left no suicide note.
An autopsy conducted has since determined that he suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, which is a degenerative brain condition which causes depression and impulsive behaviors.
It was possibly a result of the severe damage his head and body had taken during his two decades in the demanding sport.