Stephen Murray had a hugely successful career in BMX – winning gold medals, gaining big sponsorship deals, building huge jumps in his garden, pretty much everything you can imagine.
We saw some of Stephen’s archive at his house recently and he talked us through some of his most treasured possessions. There are some awesome pieces in here, some of which you can see on display at the book launch in London on 24th June.
“These are two of my signature Oakley sunglasses. We worked on the project together after the accident to help raise funds for my medical bills, to help pay for nursing and rehabilitation. And I also was able to donate $10 from each pair of glasses to a charity of my choice, so I got to work with some really cool charities and foundations. Spinal Cord Research and also TACA – Talk About Curing Autism. I learnt a lot from that, working with families.”
X GAMES PHOTO
“So many rad dudes in one place! Adam Aloise on the phone there on the left, Travis Pastrana right in front of him… Can you see Gary Ellis, with the glasses, right in the middle? And then Brian Foster on the right, Robbo, Kevin Robinson on the far right. I was 21.”
“FBM made some limited edition Stay Strong frames and gave me that mounted headtube as a little token. FBM do some fucking cool shit, man.”
FULL LOOP PHOTO
“That was in my front yard. I just wanted to do something different! I just thought of doing a full pipe in the middle of a dirt section. So there were two doubles, then you come into the full pipe, then when you exit there’d be a hip to the left, then the last set. It was pretty crazy having it mid-section. And then what was really cool about that also was that it was 17ft tall, and I built a 14ft tall lip going up onto it, put plywood across the top of it, then a little gap down onto a dirt landing. So you could go up and ride over the top of it, then gap down into the dirt and carry on with the line. Someone could go over, someone could go under. It was more fun going over it than round the loop! I got spanked on the loop… When I would go round it, I’d exit so fucking close to the side of it… A couple times I went around it, then almost around it again! Like, one and a half loops. Spanked myself so hard.
That full pipe, you didn’t really need much speed for it. You can’t flip it, you just hold on, it’s like riding a berm, just stay compressed and ride it out. You gotta be ready for the exit because there’s so much G-force on you!”
VANS x STAY STRONG SHOE
“The Vans shoe came about only recently. 9 years after my accident, talking with Jerry Badders, he said an opportunity had come up to make some limited edition Stay Strong Vans shoes, with my signature on them. It was really cool, I am stoked about them!
“They sold out in three and a half hours, it’s crazy!”
They sold out in three and a half hours, it’s crazy! I want to do some more for the book launch, so watch this space…”
Stephen Murray, living legend and BMX icon, is releasing an autobiography.
Staying Strong is released on 22nd June, 10 years after his crash.
“Staying Strong details Stephen Murray’s life and rise to fame as a professional BMX athlete, moving to California to pursue and live the action sports dream until his life-changing accident in 2007 where he was paralysed from the neck down.”
At the peak of his career, Stephen was known for leading a rather colourful lifestyle. Expect some truly savage stories in the book – he didn’t hold anything back.
Ride UK is building up to the book’s launch with 10 weeks of Stephen Murray content, from video interviews and features with Stephen and the Stay Strong team, to prize giveaways and behind the scenes diaries in his day-to-day life.
“Stephen’s story is a rollercoaster of emotions – his story doesn’t have the ultimate happy ending whereby he is now able to walk, he is still paralysed but what it does detail is how to keep positive in the face of adversity, the power of staying mentally strong, living for your children and ultimately hope – he may walk again.
This book deals with some very dark moments, the challenges faced every day as a father going through a divorce, a custody battle and whether he will ever ride a bike again – Stephen may have lost the use of his body but he has never lost his love or passion for BMX. It’s this passion that pushes him through every day. His determination teaches us all that you are more than your disability and that although he has been taken to some dark places since his accident they are also mixed with some of the best days of his life.”
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