Friday, June 22, 2018
Sports

Mirra, who popularized BMX, had CTE

Dave Mirra, the star BMX rider who killed himself in February, had CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the brain disease linked to head trauma.

The condition was diagnosed by neuropathologists at the University of Toronto and the Canadian Concussion Center, where Mirra's brain was examined after his death.

Mirra is the first action sports star to be diagnosed with CTE.

"It's assumed it is related to multiple concussions that happened years before," Dr. Lili-Naz Hazrati told ESPN.

Hazrati said the tau protein deposits found in Mirra's brain were indistinguishable from the kind found in the brains of former football and hockey players with CTE

Mirra won 14 gold medals at the X Games and helped popularize freestyle BMX, in which riders perform tricks on bicycles on the ground and soaring through the air. In 2000, he became the first person to land a double back flip in a competition. He endorsed numerous products, including a video game series.

Freestyle BMX is a dangerous sport that leads to many crashes and injuries, and Mirra was a victim of many. In a 2006 crash, he told the Washington Post, "I basically fell 16 feet straight to my head."

He was also hit by a car at age 19, suffering a fractured skull.

Mirra died from a self-inflicted gunshot in February in Greenville, N.C. He was 41.

CTE can only be diagnosed from a brain examination after death. Dozens of football players have been found to have had it, including Frank Gifford, Junior Seau and Ken Stabler.

The disease affects memory, cognitive function and mood. "I started to notice changes in his mood," his wife, Lauren, told ESPN. "And then it quickly started to get worse. He wasn't able to be present in any situation or conversation, so it was hard to be in a relationship with him to any degree."

The Mirra family decided to pursue posthumous testing.

Lauren Mirra said she planned to start "a platform for CTE awareness and research."

Comments
Florida eliminates Texas Tech at College World Series, faces Arkansas for title-round spot

Florida eliminates Texas Tech at College World Series, faces Arkansas for title-round spot

OMAHA, Neb. — JJ Schwarz hit a two-run homer and Florida built enough cushion to survive Texas Tech's six-run outburst over the seventh and eighth innings to eliminate the Red Raiders from the College World Series with a 9-6 win Thursday night....
Updated: 9 hours ago
Kevin Knox to Knicks makes NBA history locally

Kevin Knox to Knicks makes NBA history locally

More than a year ago, Kevin Knox stepped across the stage at the Straz Center to receive his high school diploma.On Thursday, the former Tampa Catholic star was on basketball's biggest stage as he fulfilled his lifelong goal of making the NBA.Knox wa...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Missed time a good mental reset for Raysí Matt Duffy

Missed time a good mental reset for Raysí Matt Duffy

ST. PETERSBURG — Missing all of 2017 might have been the absolute worst thing for Matt Duffy.Frustratingly idled as he eventually recovered and rehabbed from ongoing left heel issues, he couldn't play the game he loved, couldn't show the Rays o...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Sports on TV/radio for Friday, June 22

TODAYBaseballYankees at Rays7 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMDodgers at Mets7 p.m.MLBMarlins at Rockies8:30 p.m.FSFCFLWinnipeg at Montreal7 p.m.ESPN2College baseball, World SeriesMississippi State vs. Oregon State3 p.m.ESPNArkansas vs. Florida8 p.m.ESPNHorsesRoy...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Timeline of investigations, suspensions and allegations involving Jameis Winston

Timeline of investigations, suspensions and allegations involving Jameis Winston

The NFL will suspend Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston three games without pay to start the regular season for violating the league's personal conduct policy. The suspension could be increased if he fails to meet certain undisclosed requirements expect...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Jameis Winston suspension means Bucs will turn to Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB

Jameis Winston suspension means Bucs will turn to Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB

TAMPA — The news of Jameis Winston's suspension to start this season likely means the Bucs will have veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick stepping in at quarterback for the first three games of the regular season.Fitzpatrick took over as the starter for th...
Updated: 10 hours ago
2018-19 schedule unveiled: Lightning opens with five straight at home

2018-19 schedule unveiled: Lightning opens with five straight at home

NHL schedules all balance out at the end, but the Lightning will open 2018-19 with five straight home games and end the season with its last four on the road.The Lightning released its schedule Thursday evening for the upcoming season, with all sorts...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Without a first-rounder, Lightning still could have busy draft weekend

Without a first-rounder, Lightning still could have busy draft weekend

The Lightning doesn't have a first-round pick in this weekend's draft, but that's not to say the weekend couldn't be busy for general manager Steve Yzerman and his front office.The Lightning sent its top draft pick to the Rangers in February as part ...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Next move is simple for the Bucs: Get rid of Jameis Winston

Next move is simple for the Bucs: Get rid of Jameis Winston

Trade him. Waive him. Cut him.Whatever.Just get rid of him.Jameis Winston should never play another game for the Tampa Bay Bucs.Plain and simple, he's a bad guy and the Bucs should have nothing more to do with him.He already will miss the first three...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Rays journal: Jake Bauers proves heís up to speed on bases

Rays journal: Jake Bauers proves heís up to speed on bases

ST. PETERSBURG – Rookie 1B Jake Bauers has impressed at the plate and in the field since his June 7 promotion.Also, with his hustling on the bases."I knew he played hard; everybody said that at every level,'' manager Kevin Cash said. "I di...
Published: 06/21/18