BMX and X Games star Dave Mirra dies at 41 in apparent suicide

BMX rider Dave Mirra pauses during practice for the Panasonic Open event on June 9, 2005, in Louisville, Ky.

BMX rider Dave Mirra pauses during practice for the Panasonic Open event on June 9, 2005, in Louisville, Ky.

(Ed Reinke / Associated Press)

Pro BMX biker Dave Mirra, who was one of the most decorated athletes in X Games history, was found dead Thursday of an apparent suicide. He was 41.

Officers in Greenville, N.C., found Mirra in a parked truck, killed by what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to a statement released by the Greenville Police Department.

Mirra was a beloved figure in the world of extreme sports, and his name headlined several BMX video games. Until the 2013 X Games in Munich, he held the record for the most medals in history with 24. Of those, 14 were gold medals.


More recently, Mirra had pursued a different extreme sport: triathlons and Ironman competitions.

“Ironman competitions are an entirely different ballgame. The level of competition is much higher, and there are way more athletes,” Mirra told Sports Illustrated. He qualified for the 2014 Mont Tremblant Ironman World Championship in Canada.

“It was extremely satisfying to look around and see what I consider the best athletes in the world as my competition,” Mirra told the publication.

Mirra also briefly hosted the MTV series “Real World/Road Rules Challenge” and appeared in an episode of the sitcom “George Lopez.”

In Greenville, Mirra was credited for making the city a hub of BMX activity. More than 20 professional BMX riders call the city home, police said.

The mayor of Greenville, Allen Thomas, praised Mirra as “a great friend and wonderful human being.”


Mirra “was as humble a guy talking with kids on a street corner about bikes as he was in his element on the world stage,” Thomas said.

He is survived by his wife and two children.

“Dave’s wife and family are shocked and saddened by the loss of such a remarkable person whom they loved so deeply,” longtime family friend and Mira’s agent Steve Astephen said in a state on behalf of the family. “Thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers and for respecting their privacy through this difficult time.”

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