Famous BMX rider David “Dave” Mirra died on Thursday in Greenville, according to information released by Greenville Police Department Public Information Officer Kristen Hunter.
Officials say he apparently committed suicide at the 200 block of Pinewood Road around 4 p.m. Upon arrival, officers discovered Mirra sitting in a truck with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. He had been visiting friends in the area a short time before the incident, according to a press release.
Earlier Thursday, Mirra posted a photo on his Instagram account with the caption, "My Rock! Thank god."
The record-holding athlete is survived by his wife, Lauren, and two children. Police are still investigating. A press conference will be held by Greenville Police Chief Mark Holtzman and Greenville Mayor Allen Thomas will address the media Friday at 9 a.m.
"We mourn the loss today of a great friend and wonderful human being who touched the lives of so many around the world with his gift," Greenville Mayor Allen Thomas said in a press release. "He called Greenville, North Carolina home and was as humble a guy talking with kids on a street corner about bikes as he was in his element on the world stage. A young life with so much to offer was taken too soon."
Mirra, 41, was born on April 4, 1974 in Chittenango, New York. He held the record for most X Games medals until being passed by Bob Burnquist at X Games Munich in 2013, according to Wikipedia. He medaled at every X Games from when the yearly event started in 1995 until 2008. Mirra finished with 24 total medals, 14 of them gold.
His fame led to television appearances on such shows as “Late Night with David Letterman,” “Today” and “George Lopez.”
After a stint as host for two seasons of the MTV show “Real World/Road Rules Challenge,” he moved to Greenville with his wife and was working to promote BMX. His work quickly gave Grenville the nickname “Protown” in the BMX community. A large number of BMX riders later moved to the area and Mirra’s work with fellow rider Ryan Nyquist led to ramps and other things being built for young people to use in the community.
Mirra had also recently competed in several Global RallyCross Championship rally car events, the latest in 2013 when he raced in the Subaru Puma Rallycross TeamUSA races, according to Wikipedia.com. He was a member of the team which won the 2014 Race Across America Four-Person Male (Under 50) category.
SportsIllustrated.com did a story on Mirra in 2015 where he said he was developing a passion to compete in Ironman competitions. SI.com reports he watched one of his friends, Eric Hinman, in a competition in 2012 in Lake Placid, N.Y.
Part of an Ironman competition involves 112 miles of biking, something Mirra was obviously good at.
“Lake Placid didn’t get me into the sport at the time,” Mirra said in the SI.com interview. “I remember saying that it was an awesome sport that I’d never get into, but by the end of that summer, I was training like a triathlete with Mike Corona, the same guy who Eric trained with.”
Mirra competed in his first Ironman event in March 2013, the BikeShore 70.3 mile Triathlon in Long Beach, Caif. He placed fourth in that event.
“I was two miles out from finishing and thinking to myself that I’d never do this again,” Mirra told SI.com. “But when I got done, I couldn’t wait to do it again. When I called my wife from the finish line I was almost in tears I felt so good.”
He continued participating in Ironman events through 2015.