According to a report from Victor Mather of the New York Times, former BMX superstar and extreme sports legend Dave Mirra has been diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or better known as C.T.E. After reportedly taking his own life in February at the hands of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Mirra’s brain then became the latest subject in the posthumously conducted research surrounding severe head trauma.
Neuropathologists at the University of Toronto and the Canadian Concussion Center are responsible for the uncovering of the C.T.E. found in Mirra’s brain.
“It’s assumed it is related to multiple concussions that happened years before,” Dr. Lili-Naz Hazrati told ESPN.
Winning 14 gold medals at the X Games while aiding the progression of freestyle BMX, Mirra notably became the first person to land a double backflip in competition back in 2000. In freestyle BMX, riders perform tricks on bicycles both on the ground and in the air while sometimes incorporating dangerous tricks into the equation, such as multiple backflips.
Also endorsing a variety of related products and well-known video games, Mirra passed away at the age of 41 while his wife Lauren began to notice changes in her husband’s behavior leading up to his untimely death.
“I started to notice changes in his mood,” she told ESPN. “And then it quickly started to get worse. He wasn’t able to be present in any situation or conversation, so it was hard to be in a relationship with him to any degree.”
While not solely leading to the ultimate condition, Mirra was hit by a car at the age of 19 en route to sustaining a fractured skull and later fell approximately 16-feet during a 2006 crash.