Posts Tagged ‘BMX’

This was not how I wanted to return to posting.  I was getting ready to write a post this weekend, and then I got the horrible news.  Yesterday, BMX legend and all-around awesome guy Kevin Robinson died from a stroke.

I’m gutted.  Not only am I still dealing with the  passing of Dave Mirra and more recently, Nicky Hayden (in additional to other losses), but I knew Kevin.  He was one of the first action sports athletes I met, and my brother and I followed his career diligently for the past 17 years since we saw him pull off the first no-handed flair at the 2000 Gravity Games.

In 2001, a BMX show took place near Fort Worth, and we begged my mom to take us and made posters.  Kevin Robinson was the biggest name there so my brother made a sign that said, “Texas wants to see a flair”.   I’m not sure if the photos my mom too are still around (I printed out a couple and saved the one below), but I’ll never forget my first action sports event.  Then we got Pat Miller’s autograph.  My mom saw Kevin talking to someone in the distance and actually yelled his name.  I will be eternally mortified (because my mom knows nothing about BMX and I didn’t want to bother him) and grateful.  He was super nice and even gave my brother advice on how to bunny hop.  It was one of the best days of my life.

kevin robinson

Throughout the years, my mom would still ask us about Kevin when we watched the X Games.  We cheered his record-breaking moments and victories and grew alarmed at his injuries.  I was sad to learn that he retired before I could see him ride again, but I had always hoped to catch him at X Games Austin.  Although that never happened, we did interact very briefly on social media a couple of times.  He liked my posts and responded to a suggestion I had for his anti-bullying program.

That brings me to one of the things I admired about him.  Kevin was a great role model and philanthropist.  He also was an advocate for traumatic brain injury research, having suffered many concussions and lost two friends (Junior Seau and Dave Mirra) to the tragic effects of chronic brain encephalitis.  My current career is in TBI research, and I’m going to keep working hard so that maybe there will be a breakthrough in how to help riders recover and how to make things safer.

My heart really goes out to his family.  His social media was often filled with praises for the various accomplishments of his kids and love for his wife.  I also feel for his BMX family, as he has mentored and inspired many riders.  He inspired me too.


Photo from Kyle Carlson (Instagram)

At X Games Austin 2016, he led a touching tribute to Dave Mirra.  I know we’ll be paying tribute to him in a similar way, but in the meantime, we’ll have to take time to process this tragic loss.  Ride in peace, K-Rob!

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.