STEVIE SMITH has tragically passed away following an enduro motorcycle accident in his hometown.
Smith, 26, was riding near his hometown of Nanimo, British Columbia when he suffered a massive brain injury. His death was confirmed this morning by Devinci Global Racing.
Gabe Fox, Devinci Global Racing team manager, said: “Today we lost a great person, who taught me about myself and influenced many. Stevie was a fierce competitor, an honest friend and a rider who made me proud on countless occasions. I am honoured to consider him my friend for so long.”
Smith was a Vancouver Island local, and he sharpened his mountain biking skills on the rainforest trails of Mt. Prevost – most famously in his segment from the 2008 film Seasons.
Initially a force on the Canadian downhill racing scene, his first big racing success was a second at the World Championships at Mont Sainte Anne in 2011. He became a mountain biking superstar in 2013 after pocketing World Cup wins at Leogang, Hafjell, and Mont-Sainte-Anne. Those efforts culminated in the World Cup overall title the same year after one of the most thrilling seasons ever.
Smith is revered by fellow competitors and loved by friends, family and fans, who’ve been following what had been an explosive start to the 2016 season. Pushing past injuries that led to consecutive sidelined seasons, The Canadian Chainsaw was back in podium form this past April for the UCI WC Mountain Bike opener in Lourdes, France, where he finished in second place.
A driven athlete and fierce competitor, Smith was humble and grounded off the track. He was a notable influence on all young and aspiring Canadian gravity racers and others around the world.
“I would not be anywhere on the bike without Steve,” Wallace says. “Most importantly he taught me to be confident in my abilities, race my bike properly and take risks. As training partners, we pushed each other to the limit.
Jacques Landry, Cycling Canada’s high performance director, said: “We are really stunned and disheartened to hear of Steve’s passing. From all accounts he was definitely the best downhill mountain biker Canada has ever known. Steve left his mark by winning multiple national titles and winning the overall World Cup series in 2013, as well as three World Cup events. He will be greatly missed by the international Downhill community, Canadian Mountain Bikers and the people he was the closest to. Our sincerest condolences go out to Steve’s family, team mates and supporters in this very sad time.”
At home, in his close-knit Vancouver Island community, Smith was known as a consummate outdoorsman. This is where he spent time fishing, camping, and sinking birdie putts on the golf course. His spirit was infectious and inspirational. He passed away peacefully surrounded by his close family and those he positively affected. Steve Smith is survived by his devoted mother, Tiann, sister, Kara, his uncle, Eric, niece and nephew, Myla and Luke, grandmother, Judi, and girlfriend, Caily Schenkeveld.
His family remembers him as a great warrior.
“Steve was the most successful Canadian Gravity Racer of all time,” Fox says. “His passing leaves a huge hole in our hearts here at Devinci.”
A Celebration of Life will be held on May 21 at 1 p.m. at the Vancouver Island Convention Centre in Nanaimo, B.C. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the “Stevie Smith Legacy Fund” at www.gofundme.com/23k7fus. Funds will be earmarked for a Tiann Smith initiative, assisting talented young athletes.
Our thoughts go out to Stevie’s friends and family on this tragic day.