'Remembering Mirra,' behind the scenes
Behind the scenes
In late March, friends of BMX legend Dave Mirra gathered at the Daniel Dhers Action Sports Complex in Holly Springs, North Carolina, to film "Remembering Mirra," a "World of X Games" episode devoted to the memory of the late rider. BMX pros Daniel Dhers and Ryan Nyquist, plus former X Games BMX commentator and Mirra friend Steve Swope, sat down for candid interviews about Mirra's life, detailing his intense drive, his dominance at X Games and his legacy as one of the best BMX riders to have ever touched a bike. This is a behind-the-scenes look at the production of the episode, which airs on ABC's "World of X Games" on Saturday, April 30 at 2 p.m. ET.
Memories of Mirra
Dave Mirra built a legacy that will long outlast him, leaving behind his mark in the form of X Games gold medals, signature video games and gold-plated bikes. "For me, he was the BMX superhero. He was this larger-than-life BMX legend. You know, living legend, at the time. Dave was a true athlete, his impact on all of BMX -- he really was an ambassador to the world for BMX. That's what Dave really was," says Mirra's longtime friend Steve Swope. "This larger-than-life person who was really the ambassador of our sport to the mainstream world."
"When you have a very passionate person, they are very intense about what they are passionate about, and that just embodied Dave when it came to bike riding or, jeez, golf or anything that he really wanted to do," says friend and longtime teammate Ryan Nyquist. "He was the guy who always gave it a 100 percent, whether it be golf or learning a new trick on the vert ramp or just seeing who can do the best e-brake slide in a rental car."
"It's crazy to think the amount of tricks he invented or he did first," says friend Daniel Dhers. "I might have a couple of tricks that I stole or played up in contests, and you know we always talked about it, but it was, you know, he shaped BMX into how it is today."
Mirra as mentor
"My relationship with Dave, you know, started as a mentor, as a hero, but he was the man. Ten years later, I finally meet him. It was kind of crazy because I'm like, 'Dave Mirra is around, what do we do?' And I remember when I went to Greenville [North Carolina] for the first time, I didn't know what to expect, and he was super friendly," says Daniel Dhers. "He opened his doors to come to the park and everything, and, you know, we built a great friendship too."
Watching Mirra ride
"I think Dave was one who really kind of changed the game. Because once he turned pro, he started pulling all of these wild tricks, and then, in my eyes, he really took the pro class and made [it] his own," says Ryan Nyquist, who often shared the podium with Mirra at X Games events.
Many of the ramps inside the Daniel Dhers Action Sports Complex in Holly Springs, North Carolina, are constructed using wood from Dave Mirra's former private ramp warehouse in Greenville, North Carolina. After Mirra retired from BMX, Dhers took over rent on the warehouse before ultimately moving closer to the Raleigh area.
Although fans knew Mirra for the frequency with which he won gold medals, within the BMX scene, it was his attention to detail and natural ability that other riders admired. "No one could compete with Dave's style," says Steve Swope. "He had such good style, super smooth."
Tribute to Mirra
During the show's filming, Swope and Nyquist convinced Dhers to have a go at some of Mirra's signature tricks. "I would describe Dave as committed -- he had this look in his eyes when we were riding that he was like, he's about to do something gnarly," says Dhers. "Sometimes he would imagine these runs, and then all of a sudden he would do them."
"When I was coming up, he took me under his wing and taught me a lot about riding bikes, not only on the bike but off the bike, like the industry and sponsorships and just, like, how to be a professional," says Ryan Nyquist. "He taught me a lot of stuff, and so in a lot of ways, we were like brothers."
"Mirra has been a motivation to a lot of other riders because he had something, it's hard to explain what he had," says Daniel Dhers. "You know, it's this aura, this energy towards people."
Daniel Dhers was able to ride and train alongside Mirra for a number of years, and Dhers learned a good deal about BMX riding both on and off the bike. Here, he spins a signature Mirra move, the no-handed 720.
Tailwhip at height
This is no ordinary tailwhip air. It's a no-footed cancan to tailwhip air, another signature Mirra move performed by Daniel Dhers.
Dhers, with Mirra's medals
Daniel Dhers displays a small sampling of Dave Mirra's X Games gold medals.
"If I could talk to Dave today, I would just say, 'Thank you,'" says Steve Swope. "'Personally, thank you for being a great friend. On behalf of BMX, thank you for everything you've done for BMX and for being the ambassador that you have been. It would not be where it is today without you. We are eternally grateful for that.'"
That's a wrap
The crew assembles for a group photo following production. "Dave Mirra is basically BMX, I think his name is synonymous with BMX in the modern age, he definitely was the household name," says Ryan Nyquist. "When that random person saw the X Games, it was Dave Mirra they saw." "Remembering Mirra" airs on ABC's "World of X Games" on Sat., April 30 at 2 p.m. ET.