||This article may require copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone, or spelling. (August 2013)|
|Born||October 22, 1990 (age 23)
|Grands Prix||AMA Pro Women's Motocross Association|
|Championships||2008 WMA Pro National Champion, 2009 WMA Pro National Champion, 2011 WMA Pro National Champion, 2012 WMA Pro National Champion|
Ashley Fiolek (born October 22, 1990) is a Deaf motocross racer in the Women's Motocross Association. Racing with numberplate 67 and 1, she was the 2008 WMX Pro National champion after her first professional win at the WMA Pro National Hangtown. She also won many races in the 2009 season, including Moto 1 at Hangtown and both motos at Glen Helen. She repeated as 2009 WMX Pro National Champion by finishing 7th at Steel City Raceway in Delmont, Pennsylvania on September 5, 2009. She finished this race in pain with a collarbone fracture due to a spill during the race. She won the WMX Pro Nationals again in 2011. In 2012, she crashed and suffered a concussion and fractured tailbone. She was DNS (Did Not Start) at High Point, Mt. Morris, PA. After almost a month off between races and time to heal, she returned to racing at RedBud MX, in her home state of Michigan, where she started her run for her next title. She took the overall for the next 3 races: RedBud, Mi Washougal, Wa, and Southwick, Ma. She took the 2012 WMX Pro National Championship at Lake Elsinore, Ca.
Fiolek was born in Dearborn, Michigan and has been deaf since birth. In August 1998, the Fiolek family moved to St. Augustine, Florida so Ashley could attend the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind, the largest school of this type in the United States. At the school, she studied ballet, ran track, and played basketball. When Fiolek finished eighth grade, her parents decided to begin homeschooling her.
As a child, she used to ride on the front of her mother's 4-wheeler or her father's bike. Her family often went to her grandfather's house in Northern Michigan and rode through the woods for hours. Around the age of three, Fiolek's parents gave her a Yamaha PW50, a bike suitable for very young riders. She did not use the bike very often; she had trouble with the training wheels (from a child's bike) and preferred to ride with her parents.
Fiolek began racing at age seven. In April 2010 Fiolek published her first book, Kicking Up Dirt, with It Books, co-written with journalist Caroline Ryder (HarperCollins Publishers). In 2009 she made headlines when she became the first female to be signed to the American Honda Racing factory team. In 2008 she was the First Female motocross Racer to make the cover of Transworld Motocross Magazine. In 2012 she was also featured in an issue of Vogue magazine. In May 2011, Fiolek and her motocross riding were featured in a commercial for Red Bull. She is the sixth athlete sponsored by Red Bull to appear in a commercial for the energy drink.
In 2010, Fiolek met Noora Moghaddas, a top motocross competitor in the Middle East, and the two women bonded while riding and sharing similar goals to improve conditions for women and girls in their respective countries.
Fiolek said, "Noora continues in her quest to help Iranian women learn how to ride, race and become stronger. I hope to be a part of that important mission with her, so that we can both share our love of motocross with people in other countries! It is great to know our world is really not that big. Even with different languages and cultures, we can all come together and share something we feel passionate about."
Fiolek won the WMX Pro Championship in, 2008, 2009, 2011, and in 2012.
In 2011, at X-Games 17, Fiolek crashed during practice and was knocked unconscious. Doctors determined she would be unable to compete. In 2012, she sat out for a second consecutive year at X-Games 18 after concussion she suffered in a crash on June 2 at WMX Moto 2 in Lakewood, Co.
Acting & Beyond
Ashley appeared on Conan in June 2012, the first deaf person to be featured on the show.
In September 2012, Ashley Fiolek appeared on an episode of the television series Switched at Birth as Robin Swiller, a motocross racer who develops an interest in main character Emmett Bledsoe. She will reprise her role in the show's second season.
Fiolek said, via Twitter, that 2012 will be her final season in WMX. She told ESPN.com, "Absolutely! It is my last season in the outdoor series but certainly not racing! You will have to wait until November, sorry."
- Ashely Fiolek Nominated for ESPY Award. Transworld Motocross. 2009-06-28.
- Ashley Fiolek wins first-ever professional moto at Hangtown. Ledger-Dispatch. 2008-06-06.
- AMA Women's Motocross Series. Versus TV. 2009-06-24.
- Roenigk, Alyssa. Silence is Golden. ESPN Magazine. 2009-08-20.
- Fiolek, Ashley. Ashely Fiolek.com - Home Page.
- Marshall, Konrad. Silent Thunder. Jacksonville.com 2007-09-30.
- Honda. "Ashley Fiolek Bio". ©2012 American Honda Motor Co., Inc. - Motorcycle Division. Retrieved 9/3/2012.
- Roenigk, Alyssa (4 May 2011). "Ashley Fiolek stars in TV commercial". ESPN Action Sports (ESPN). Retrieved 2011-05-14.
- "Interview with Ashley Fiolek". ABILITY Magazine. date unavailable. Retrieved 2012-04-02.
- Associated Press. Fiolek makes final-lap move for win. ESPN Magazine. 2009-08-02.
- Ricardi, Alisha. "Ashley Fiolek out of X Games LA". ESPN.
- Smith, B.J. "Ashley Fiolek to guest on 'Conan'". ESPN.COM. Retrieved 9/3/2012.
- Smith, BJ. "Fiolek, Patterson, Gieger chase title". ESPN.com. Retrieved 6 September 2012.