Extreme sports: Celebrated BMX star Mirra dies aged 41 after apparent suicide

Dave Mirra died on Thursday in an apparent suicide, said North Californian authorities.
Dave Mirra died on Thursday in an apparent suicide, said North Californian authorities.PHOTO: EPA

WASHINGTON (AFP) - BMX star, X Games champion and former MTV host Dave Mirra died on Thursday in an apparent suicide, authorities in the United States state of North Carolina said. He was 41.

Police in the town of Greenville that Mirra called home said they discovered the former bike star's body in a truck with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Thursday afternoon.

Issuing a statement calling him an "icon in the pro-BMX world," police said they were investigating the death as an apparent suicide.

He had been visiting friends in the area shortly before the incident.

"We mourn the loss today of a great friend and wonderful human being who touched the lives of so many around the world with his gift," Greenville Mayor Allen Thomas said in the statement. "A young life with so much to offer was taken too soon."

ESPN called Mirra "one of the most decorated athletes" in the history of the sports network's extreme sports X Games.

According to his website, he won 24 medals in total, taking gold 14 times.

Mirra also hosted the MTV series Real World/Road Rules Challenge, according to the site.

In recent years, he competed in triathlons and qualified for Canada's Mont Tremblant Ironman World Championship in 2014, according to Sports Illustrated.

Mirra is survived by his wife and two children.