Dave Mirra, BMX Legend, Dead at 41

Iconic X Games athlete and television personality died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound Thursday in North Carolina

By
Dave Mirra; BMX
Dave Mirra in 2005. Gerry Broome/AP

BMX legend Dave Mirra died Thursday from an apparent suicide, according to the Greenville Police Department. He was 41 years old.

Mirra's body was discovered in a parked truck in his adopted home of Greenville, North Carolina at around 4:00 p.m. with what was believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He had reportedly been visiting friends in the area prior to his death.

"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," Greenville Mayor Allen Thomas said in a statement. "He called Greenville, North Carolina home and was as humble a 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 too soon."

There were two posts on Mirra's Instagram page on the day of his death, one of which was a picture of him and his wife – "My rock! Thank god," he wrote. The other was a photo of him completing a trick atop his bike.

A versatile BMX rider who earned his first sponsorship at age 13, Mirra excelled at both flatland and ramp riding, and became a global star, racking up endorsement deals and magazine covers in the Nineties. He was also one of the most decorated athletes in X Games history, winning a total of 24 medals in competition – a record that stood until Bob Burnquist surpassed it in 2013. His 14 gold medals at the X Games are the second most of all time, behind only Shaun White.

At X Games San Francisco in 2000, Mirra landed the first double backflip in competition, a feat that earned him one of those gold medals and cemented his status in BMX history. At the 2005 Games, he showed some flash by riding a $7,500 gold-plated bike in competition. Hours after his passing, those who knew him and competed along side him took to Twitter to pay tribute to the man and his many accomplishments. 

Mirra also competed in Rally Car racing, driving for Subaru and finishing fourth in the Global Rallycross Championship series in 2013, served as the host MTV's Real World/Road Rules Challenge and had two video games that featured his name.

Mirra is survived by his wife, Lauren, and their two children.

x