The BMX world is shocked and mystified by the apparent suicide of Dave Mirra, one of the sport's biggest names. The 41-year-old, who was married with two children, was found in a truck in Greenville, NC, on Thursday afternoon, dead from what police say was a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the Los Angeles Times reports. One of his final Instagram posts was a photo of himself in a boxing ring, with the message: "Fight to win! We all have battles to fight. Never back down. Love you all. #diewithyourbootson," the New York Daily News reports. Mirra—who was nearly killed by a drunk driver in 1993—won a total of 24 X Games medals, a record only broken by Bob Burnquist in 2013, the Guardian notes. In recent years, he switched to competing in Ironmans and triathlons.
Mirra's death has brought many tributes. He called Greenville 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," says Mayor Allen Thomas. "Dave was nothing short of the most iconic BMX rider of all time and single-handedly inspired generations of riders to come," writes Justin Benthien at RideBMX magazine. "It is with very heavy hearts that tonight we must say goodbye to the Miracle Boy." "We'll never know exactly why, but that's not our place to question," adds Ryan Fudger. "Our job is to honor the guy that pushed the boundaries of BMX both on the bike and off of it and give our condolences to his family. Rest in peace, Dave." (Read more suicide stories.)