Mountain bikers remember legend Steve Smith at memorial race

Mountain bikers remember legend Steve Smith at memorial race

Racers of all ages zipped down Mount Washington on dusty, bumpy trails this weekend in the kind of race Steve Smith loved.

Smith became famous in the world of downhill racing before he died in a tragic motorcycle crash near his Nanaimo home in 2016.

“That’s what Steve wanted to do was get kids on bikes and out there. He’d be so stoked about this right now,” said Steve’s mom, Tianna Smith, who watched from the bottom of the run near the Alpine Lodge.

The Stevie Smith Memorial BC Cup Downhill took place over the weekend, and many of the people participating or watching knew him and raced with him.

“I started riding when I was 13 and he was the first dude and I was like, ‘Wow, I want to race because of Stevie,’ so it was really cool, and as I worked my way up through the ranks I kind of ended up half being on the same team as him. I was pretty star-struck,” said Magnus Manson.

In life, Smith thought a great deal about inspiring young downhill racers, and he was successful in doing that.

Today, six years after his death, he still inspires.

Just ask 10-year-old Kasch Wing, who has been mountain biking since he was two.

“Stevie, he’s definitely my hero,” said Wing. “He’s the greatest Canadian mountain bike racer ever. Just super fast, super talented.”

“Seeing him from afar as he was just becoming this star from the island was really amazing, and I got to see him locally on Mount Prevost when he was kind of in his prime, which was something to behold,” added John Makson.

Tianna Smith doesn’t go to every BC Cup race but made a point of going to this one and is raising money for Stevie Smith Legacy Foundation, which inspires and supports Canada’s next generation of elite gravity athletes.

“Yeah, proud of him, proud of what he’s done with all the kids out here and even the little ones who have never met him, they have moms and dads that did and so yeah, it’s awesome,” said Smith.

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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