Dave Mirra is the original king of the X Games. But the star almost missed his chance at gold-medal greatness. In 1993, just as his career was starting to take off, Mirra was struck by a drunken driver and suffered a fractured skull and other life-threatening injuries. Fortunately, he got back in the bike seat and now, more than a decade later, he's having his busiest-and most successful-year yet. Fresh from hosting MTV's Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Inferno II, Mirra embarked on a cross-country adventure starring in the Dew Action Sports Tour. (The tour, which is broadcast on NBC and USA, wraps up later this month.) MF recently caught up with Mirra during a break in his schedule to talk about just how far he's come.
How's the Dew Tour going?
It's fun. The fans are really fired up, very supportive. I didn't do as great as I'd hoped to the first few shows, but it'll pick up. The cool thing about our fans, though, is that they love you even when you do badly.
Back in '93, you suffered some pretty major injuries. How hard was it to bounce back from that?
I was just incredibly determined. I reallymissed the sport. It's what I love doing, so I couldn't quit. I'm sure my doctors and family were nervous about me going back to it, but they supported me, and I think they understood. When I was a kid, my teachers criticized me for "wasting" so much time on my bike. I didn't let that stop me, so a little thing like a busted head wasn't gonna stop me, either.
What's your fitness program like?
I really don't have a structured routine. I train and practice constantly. It's tough to work out hard and then ride hard. You can get burned out.
BMX and other extreme sports are so popular. As one of the "old guys" in the sport, how does it feel to watch the younger rising stars?
You know, I can't ride forever, so it's good to see the young kids tearing it up. And it's amazing-everything is at a whole new level now compared to when I started. But that doesn't mean I'm not going to do everything I can to try and beat 'em.