Stephen Murray Stay Strong – a Brand and Life Message of BMX Rider (another article of mine cleaned out by Suite)

“When you think there is nothing left, reach within and dig deeper.” – Stephen Murray

 

At the final stop of the 2010 Dew Tour in Las Vegas, BMX riders wore STY SRG shirts to honor BMX rider TJ Lavin, who was injured during prelims. Lavin is well-known not only for his BMX riding, but as the host of MTV’s The Challenge. Just the day before Lavin’s crash, BMX rider Ty Pinney crashed on TJ Lavin’s backyard dirt course and ended up a few beds away from Lavin’s in the same trauma unit! All weekend, the STY SRG shirts showed unity among the BMX community and support for Lavin and Pinney and also paid homage to the man who began the STY SRG or Stay Strong credo, BMX rider Stephen Murray.

Fast Forward

ESPNs Brian Tunney recently wrote about how the new technology, Tobii PCEye has partnered with Murray to help him to regain his freedom and bring that freedom to others with spinal cord injuries  via the computer. Tobii PCEye utilizes eye-tracking movement to navigate through the computer desktop and scroll through documents and the internet.

Stephen Murray – Inspired BMX Rider

June 22, 2012 marked the fifth anniversary of professional BMX dirt rider Stephen Murray’s life-changing accident in the Dew Tour that left him paralyzed from the shoulders down. His life has been improving after dealing with medical complications, divorce, and day to day challenges. He is always looking forward, keeping a positive outlook and representing his life message in every sense of the phrase, STAY STRONG. Although his riding career ended, his BMX career is still very vital. He was always one of the most intense and talented riders, and would say regarding his style, “I go 110%, go big and send it!”

Stephen Murray Injured in Dew Tour Crash

In 2006, Murray had a bad crash at the Dew Tour finals but did not suffer major injuries. After lying on the dirt course for a few minutes, he stood up and threw his helmet into the air in defiance. What happened in his crash in June 2007 at the BMX Dirt Finals at the Dew Tour, in Baltimore, Maryland was not as fortuitous and changed his life forever. As he was completing a double back-flip on the last set of jumps on the dirt course, Stephen crashed. Instead of getting the full rotations, he bailed out, and only made 1 1/2 rotations. He landed on his head, breaking his neck, and he stopped breathing.

Stephen was revived and rushed to the local ER. It was quoted as being “one of the worst crashes seen in BMX” and it ended his career; he was only 27 years old and a father to two small boys. Stephen was transported to University of Maryland Medical Centre Shock Trauma Unit. He had flat-lined in the ambulance and again after reaching Shock Trauma, where medication was administered to bring him back. He had two 7-hour surgeries and his doctors confirmed the worst: Stephen had crushed his 3, 4 and 5 cervical vertebrae and suffered severe damage to his spinal cord. Stephen Murray, professional athlete was paralyzed from the shoulders down. His parents admitted, “Initially it wasn’t the news of Stephen being paralyzed that frightened us, but [wondering] if our Stephen would make it through the night.”

Steven Murray – A Force in BMX

The mental determination that helped Murray to be such a formidable competitor in BMX is helping him to stay strong as he continues on his life ‘s journey. Stephen has been featured in an installment of Firsthand, a FuelTV series that focuses on individuals in extreme sports. The show explored how a split-second error forever changed his life. The interview examined his day-to-day life and his deep focus, as well as his dedication to helping others and staying a strong force in BMX.

Murray donates money from Stay Strong to prizes in various BMX events, like Red Bull Stomping Grounds Best Trick and the annual Trails is Shouting at The Compound, a Pro/Am BMX event. Some funds from Stay Strong are even being donated toward stem cell research as well. There are BMX events that help benefit Stay Strong and Stephen Murray, including the annual Stay Strong Stephen Murray Jam in the UK.

Transworld RideBMX has a great video from the fourth annual Stephen Murray Jam that was in September at Jay Alianos’ trails in Upton upon Severn in the UK. There was amazing riding and Stephen Murray was there as the guest of honor.

Stephen Murray Extreme Sports Athlete

Stephen Murray moved the United States from Newcastle, Great Britain over 10 years ago, to ride and compete with the best athletes in BMX. He came to the US originally as a BMX racer, but quickly took to Dirt Jumping and Freestyle in the scene of Huntington Beach and Sheep Hills in California. A tough competitor, he was known for his aggressive and fluid style that included his signature double back flips, 360 back flips, turndown back flips and much more.

In 2001 and 2002, he won Gold Medals in BMX Dirt Jumping at the X Games and Golds at the Gravity Games. He would continue on winning numerous titles throughout his professional BMX career. Stephen fought his way to the top of his sport and he continues his fight today; to one day hold his children and one day walk again.

Stay Strong BMX Gear and Apparel

Initially, the accident took away Stephen’s mobility and independence, and if that wasn’t bad enough, he lost his health insurance, his marriage, and his home. The help Murray gets from Stay Strong keeps his children and himself with a roof over their heads and maintains his round the clock care and rehabilitation.

Stephen Murray’s brand, STAY STRONG, began with a t-shirt and charity bracelet and has since evolved into a major business and charitable venture. The products still include the t-shirts and other apparel, but have expanded to include BMX accessories and equipment. The most important thing about Stay Strong is its positive life message. To purchase Stay Strong gear and apparel in the US, go to Dan’s Comp , contact ExtremeSponsors.com or check out the Stay Strong site where donations are accepted for the Stephen Murray Family Fund, too.

Murray’s Injury Inspired Creation of ARF

Injuries like Stephen Murray’s and other extreme sports athletes’ led to the creation of the Athlete Recovery fund, or ARF. Any individuals or businesses interested in supporting the ARF by donation can check out the details at the ARF website. It’s a seriously good cause; these athletes bring fans incredible excitement and enjoyment, so it’s important to support them, too.

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