While Dave’s fans and loved ones continue to come to terms with the BMX star’s tragic death, a newly resurfaced interview between him and People magazine reveals that he maybe have been struggling with emotionally issues for years. “I do get sad. I get sad for stupid things, like reading the news about things that go on in the world,” he told the publication in 2004.”I don’t like hearing about pain and suffering, especially, like, kids and poor people. That makes me sad. I think I feel things deeply.”
Though considered one of the most decorated X Games BMX riders of all time, Dave went on to tell the magazine that his competitive background may have been part of the problem, as it put an incredible amount of pressure on him. “I’m an intense guy, probably because I compete. I am really hard on myself if I don’t succeed, and I get really high on myself when I win,” he said. “I’m the one who sets the hardest expectations on myself … I don’t want to be good enough. I want to be the best.”
Since his tragic passing, the mayor of Dave’s hometown of Greenville, North Carolina, Allen Thomas, has spoken out about the biker’s extreme sports career, revealing just how intense and potentially harmful, it was to Dave’s health. “[He] took a lot of injuries in his career and you have to give pause and think and wonder just as we hear about brain trauma in football and other sports activities whether that played a factor,” he said during a press conference on Feb. 5, according to TMZ.
While Allen said that he’s not absolutely certain that is the case, he did go on to draw comparisons of Dave’s death to the 2012 suicide of ex-NFL star Junior Seau. Like Dave, the 12-time Pro Bowl athlete and NFL defensive Player of the Year in 1992 was also found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in his chest. The autopsy of Junior’s brain revealed definite signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a degenerative disease related to severe head trauma.
Regardless of the cause, it’s obvious that Dave’s death has left his friends utterly heartbroken. When news of Dave’s suicide broke, his fellow X-games legends Tony Hawk, Carey Hart and more all took to social media to mourn the loss of their dear friend .Lupe Fiasco even called him a “BMX Legend” and a genius. Considering all the breathtaking stunts Dave pulled off during his career, it’s not hard to see why.
As always, our thoughts continue to go out to all of Dave’s friends, family and loved ones during this very difficult time.