The action sports world lost some key figures last year, and I thought I would pay tribute to them all here. The links are different videos I found of them.
Freeskier Sarah Burke died on January 19, nine days after crashing on the halfpipe. She suffered a cardiac arrest, which led to irreversible brain damage. She was a pioneer in her sport, being the first woman to do a 1080 and lobbying to bring freeskiing to the Olympics. Winter X Games 16 held a touching tribute that celebrated her contributions and her love of life. She was 29.
Freestyle BMX rider Mike Tag died on April 13 after a year-long battle with Stage ll Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. A member of the FBM team, he is remembered for his burly street and trail riding, immortalized in videos like “1201” and “All Time Low”. He was 37.
Freestyle BMX rider Randy “The Don” Taylor was found dead on August 19 in his home. He was known for combining technicality with huge tricks in videos like “Stoked On Being Pumped”, “Road Fools 17”, and “Let’s Get Mystical”. He was 26.
Skate and snowboard pioneer Tom Sims died from cardiac arrest on September 12. He created the first snowboard with metal edges, the first women’s model, the first pro-model, and the first longboard for skateboarding. He also helped develop the first freestyle snowboarding contests and sponsored action sports legends like Christian Hosoi, Craig Kelly, Steve Fisher, and Tony Hawk. He was 62.
BMX racer Kyle Bennett was killed in a single-vehicle auto accident on October 14. He was the first rider to make the 2008 U.S. Olympic BMX team and is a three-time UCI World champion and NBL champion. He was 33.