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Athletes react to news of X Games icon Dave Mirra’s death

Athletes react to news of Dave Mirra’s death

Dave Mirra speaks after winning a bronze medal in the Rally Car race during the summer X Games 14 at Home Depot Center in 2008.

(Christian Petersen / Getty Images)

Dave Mirra was an icon and a trendsetter.

He was the reason little kids tried to create separation between a tire and the ground whenever they bounded over a hump while riding their bicycle. He was the man that made Haro Bikes a household name for any athlete that participated in a sport with wheels.

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Mirra dominated the sport of BMX like no other, contorting his body and bicycle as if they were a symbiotic unit. He produced and performed seemingly impossible tricks no one had even fathomed. Because of that, he won 24 X Games medals, including 14 that were gold, and he influenced a generation of young athletes.

Many of those athletes that grew up watching Mirra as well as those that shared the courses and ramps with him took to social media to share their emotions after Mirra was found dead in his hometown of Greenville, N.C., on Thursday of an apparent suicide.

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Two of the most prolific X Games athletes, Tony Hawk and Shaun White, recognized the genius of Mirra's work:

Six-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson and motocross rider Carey Hart were shocked:

Waking up to the realization this morning that Dave is gone is absolutely heart breaking. I was telling my wife that most of the best memories from my career have Dave involved one way or another, and it's always a funny memory. Dave was such a genuine dude. He always had a smile on his face and cracking jokes, unless he was in contest mode. He was the fiercest competitor I have ever met. Unfortunately I haven't seen Dave much since he retired, but I guess that's what happens in life. Wish I had known something was wrong and he new he had some to talk to. I understand the battle w/ depression. I tame mine with therapy and family. Im mad as hell at you for doing this, and my heart absolutely shatters for your daughters and wife. But I will cherish our time together and the many good times we had. Ride in Paradise, Dime Bag. You will be greatly missed.

A photo posted by Carey Hart (@hartluck) on

Extreme athletes of various action sports were somber over the news:

I love you man. Goodnight.

A photo posted by Jamie Bestwick (@jamiebestwick) on

Some athletes may have ended up in other sports, but reminisced about watching Mirra during their youth:

Celebrities also were Mirra fans:

There is no doubt that Mirra will be missed. He was 41.

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