Stephen Murray on USA Today
BMX riders are no stranger to injury. Just watch the documentary “Birth of Big Air” on Mat Hoffman to see the tests rider’s bodies are put to on a daily basis. In 2007, Stephen Murray became the first high-profile Professional to be paralyzed during competition. When Stephen crashed a double backflip at a Dew Tour in Baltimore, MD, his life changed forever.
Stephen wasn’t the first to sustain this sort of injury, many years back an influential New Jersey rider named Jeff Crawn crashed during a magazine shoot in Chicago, resulting in the loss of movement in his legs. At the time, BMX was in its lean years, and hadn’t yet gained the public attention of televised events like the Extreme Games. In comparison to Stephen’s injury, the incident remained under the radar.
Despite the television coverage and corporate sponsorships behind BMX in the last few years, until recently there was no sort of support system in place for this type of long term injury. As a result, the Athlete Recovery Fund was set up to provide help to some of these injured riders and families. USA Today posted a story online today about Stephen and the Athlete recovery fund, which you should check out here. I donated some photos of Stephen to ARF, one of which is featured in the story. It was shot a few months prior to his injury at his old house in California. Check out the feature here, and more photos of Stephen after the jump.