Dave Mirra

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Dave Mirra
Dave Mirra 2010-08-21 001.jpg
Mirra in 2010
Personal information
Born(1974-04-04)April 4, 1974
Chittenango, New York
DiedFebruary 4, 2016(2016-02-04) (aged 41)
Greenville, North Carolina
OccupationExtreme sports athlete
Height5 ft 9 in (175 cm)
SportBMX, Rallycross
Updated on February 5, 2016.

David Michael Mirra (April 4, 1974 – February 4, 2016) was an American BMX rider who later competed in rallycross racing. Mirra held the record for most X Games medals in BMX Freestyle, and medalled in every X Games from when they started in 1995 up to 2009. As a BMX rider, he was known primarily as a vert ramp and park rider. He had also competed for several years with the Subaru Rally Team USA as a rallycross driver. He rode and was sponsored by Haro Bikes from the mid 1990s until starting his own bike company. Mirra was a member of the team which won the 2014 Race Across America four-person male (under 50) category. Mirra died by suicide on February 4, 2016.[1] He was inducted into the BMX Hall of Fame on June 11, 2016.[2]

Early life[edit]

Mirra was born on April 4, 1974 in Chittenango, New York.[3] He graduated from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona).[4]

In the 1990s, Mirra's brother, Tim, moved to Greenville, North Carolina, to attend East Carolina University. Dave moved to Greenville soon after.[5] Fellow professional BMX rider Ryan Nyquist moved in with Tim. Mirra and Nyquist became quick friends and would build and ride ramps together. Greenville is now home to over twenty professional BMX riders.[6] This gave Greenville the nickname "Protown" in the BMX community.[7]


While still living in Chittenango, Mirra joined the Haro Bikes BMX team in 1987, at the age of 13. Video producers Plywood Hoods featured him in their videos in 1988. Mirra gained a sponsorship from Vision Street Wear in 1989.[8] He was also sponsored by GT Bicycles through 1991, and then joined Hoffman Bikes in 1992 before re-signing with Haro in 1994.[8]

Mirra turned professional in 1992. He won a medal at the X Games in every year from 1995 through 2009, with the exception of 2006.[5] He won 24 medals at the X Games which stood as a record until 2013.[9] He tied Tony Hawk and Joe Parsons as the fastest to reach 14 X Games medals.[8] In 2005, Mirra won the Best Male Action Sports Athlete ESPY Award.[10] His 14 gold medals are second-most to Shaun White.[11] He retired from BMX riding in 2011.[8]

Mirra's Subaru rally car

From 2008 through 2013, Mirra competed in rallying and rallycross as a member of Subaru Rally Team USA. He had a career-best fourth-place finish during the 2013 Global RallyCross Championship.[8] Mirra became interested in Ironman competitions, competing in his first triathlon in March 2013.[9][12] He qualified for the 2014 Ironman 70.3 World Championship.[11]

Mirra's success took him to numerous outlets besides riding his bike, such as hosting two seasons of MTV's Real World/Road Rules Challenge. He is featured in the Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX video game series and more recently appeared in the 2009 video game Colin McRae: Dirt 2.[13] He published a photo-biography titled "Mirra Images",[14] and was once one of People Magazine's "50 Hottest Bachelors".[15] In the mid 2000s, Mirra signed an endorsement deal with DC Shoes. In 2007, Mirra started his own bike company, called MirraCo.[8][16]

Personal life and death[edit]

Mirra and his wife, Lauren, had two daughters.[9] Mirra contracted bacterial meningitis in 2010. He recovered before resuming rallying.[15]

On February 4, 2016, Mirra died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in Greenville, North Carolina.[17] Authorities responded to a reported suicide and discovered his body inside his black Ford F-150.[18] He had reportedly been visiting friends in the area. Allen Thomas, the mayor of Greenville, called Mirra "a great friend and wonderful human being".[8] Mirra was two months short of his 42nd birthday.[9][19]

Mirra was posthumously diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).[20] In addition to the "countless" concussions he suffered during his career, his skull was fractured when he was hit by a car at 19 years old and he took up boxing after retirement. He became the first action sports star to be diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease.[21]

Mirra's wife chose to support several charitable causes in her late husband's memory including CTE research, Road 2 Recovery Foundation, and More Than Sport.[22]

City officials in Greenville, North Carolina are working on plans to create an action sports park to honor Mirra's legacy.[23] The first phase would include the skate and BMX facilities and parking, restroom and concession facilities.[23]


  1. ^ "The Legends of the Road". raceacrossamerica.org. Archived from the original on February 5, 2016. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  2. ^ "Dave Mirra inducted into BMX Hall of Fame". wnct.com. Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  3. ^ DAVE MIRRA @ 23MAG BMX. 23mag.com
  4. ^ Facts & Statistics Archived September 19, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. collegeprowler.com
  5. ^ a b Castleberry, Tony (February 4, 2016). "Dave Mirra dead". The Daily Reflector. Archived from the original on February 6, 2016. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  6. ^ "Recreation and Parks". Greenville. August 14, 2013. Archived from the original on September 2, 2013. Retrieved September 13, 2013.
  7. ^ "Ams Take Over Pro Town, USA for Gatorade Free Flow Tour". Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g "X Games icon Dave Mirra, 41, dead of apparent self-inflicted gunshot". espn.com. February 5, 2016. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  9. ^ a b c d Los Angeles Times (February 4, 2016). "BMX and X Games star Dave Mirra dies at 41 in apparent suicide". latimes.com. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  10. ^ "Dave Mirra Takes Home ESPY for Best Male Action Sports Athlete of the Year 07-15-05". Ride BMX. July 15, 2005.
  11. ^ a b "X Games biker and BMX star Dave Mirra dies". Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  12. ^ Ryan Wallerson (June 4, 2015). "Life after BMX: Dave Mirra's journey to the top of Ironman is underway". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  13. ^ Michael McWhertor. "BMX athlete Dave Mirra dies at 41 of apparent suicide". Polygon. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  14. ^ "USATODAY.com - Dave Mirra 'goes big' for bicycle safety". Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  15. ^ a b Alex Johnson. "BMX Legend Dave Mirra Dead of Suspected Suicide". NBC News. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  16. ^ "RIP: BMX Legend Dave Mirra Has Been Found Dead - TheVine". TheVine. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  17. ^ Zack. "The BMX Legend, Dave Mirra (41) Dies". 8c.co.za. Archived from the original on March 12, 2016. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  18. ^ Slotnik, Daniel E. (February 5, 2016). "David Mirra, BMX Bike Star, Dies in an Apparent Suicide". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  19. ^ "Dave Mirra, BMX icon, found dead in North Carolina". ABC7 Los Angeles. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  20. ^ "Dave Mirra, BMX Icon's Death Reported Again Three Years After It Happened". Grit Daily. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  21. ^ Roenigk, Alyssa (May 24, 2016). "Doctors: Late BMX legend Mirra had CTE". ESPN.com. Retrieved May 24, 2016.
  22. ^ "Dave Mirra - Charities". davemirra.com. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  23. ^ a b "City begins process for Mirra-inspired action park - Daily Reflector". www.reflector.com. Retrieved October 14, 2019.

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