Canadian Downhill Legend Steve Smith Dies at 26
Rider’s drive, determination, and love for living will be remembered by all those whose paths he crossed
World Cup sensation Steve Smith passed away this afternoon after suffering a massive brain injury resulting from an enduro motorcycle accident in his hometown of Nanaimo, British Columbia. He was 26 years old.
"Today we lost a great person, who taught me about myself and influenced many
,” says Devinci Global Racing Team Manager, Gabe Fox. “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 hailed from Vancouver Island, where he sharpened his mountain biking skills on the rainforest trails of Mt. Prevost. A force on the Canadian downhill racing scene for years, he became an international household name in 2013 after pocketing World Cup wins at Leogang, Hafjell, and Mont-Sainte-Anne, Que. Those efforts culminated in the World Cup overall title the same year—downhill racing’s ultimate achievement.
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. He was also a key mentor to friend and DGR teammate, Mark Wallace.
“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.
It is with a heavy heart that Felix Gauthier, Cycles Devinci President, commented on the sad news.‘’We are all devastated by the loss of our friend Steve. He gave us such strong and powerful emotions, especially in MSA when he won on home soil – such an inspiration for us all. All our thoughts are going to his friends and family.’’
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 Conference 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.
chile and have to say that Stevie was #1 on my list.. Such a great rider and some much respect for how he made his way through with his mom's devoted help. Man Stevie.. Too soon.. Gonna miss you!
That would be sick make one and then put the link into the comments.
Kelly mcgarry now Steve f*ck
Surely with enough support and knowing enough people in the right circles we could make this happen? @scottsecco @mikekazimer @rachellefrazer @mikelevy
Another legend taken way to soon.
Ride on chainsaw ❤
Come on uci please do t this
My Tweet to @BrianCooksonUCI :
Ghost ride at MSA proposed by www.pinkbike.com/u/hwulex Excellent Idea ! UCI s/be 1st w CYCLE SAFETY Everywhere !
Will NEED more Tweets to ensure SUCCESS !
Those that WANT more SAFETY on the Roads checkout
for more links .
This is a wonderful idea, it would mean so much to so many.
To add another option to your idea. Maybe a rider could do a slow run in honor of Stevie kitted out in a commemorative kit so fans on the hill and watching on the net can have a visual for his 'final run' The riders identity can either be known (maybe a past champion) or kept secret so it is all about Stevie.
Something needs to done, he was, is and always will be a champion to so many.
Heartfelt sympathy to all his family and anyone who knew him
"A Celebration of Life will be held on May 21 at 1 p.m"
I feel a moustachioed ride at this time to show my respect, may be in order...
Ride in peace
WHAT THE HECK?
How is this all happening to riders, at this rate?!
Wanted to go to Leogang World Cup this year but now I don't know because without Steve it's not the same...
I'd support some chainsaw sticker!
Please UCI do something special to honour this extraordinary person!
Unfortunately I never got the opportunity to meet him :/
My daughter and I made a t shirt written in permanent marker that says "#longlivechainsaw" with a chainsaw drawn below it. A bunch of us will be wearing something like that at the next race.
@scottsecco @mikekazimer @rachellefrazer @mikelevy
A sad day, a great loss.
All the best to the family and friends, death sucks.
Short URL: goo.gl/XwtlFb
what sad news. How big is the emotion. We lost a brother. Can we express our condolences in a proper way? In the pinkbike I found the idea from User @Hwulex, that during the next WC race in the top 20 may be an empty slot, a ghost lap. This idea collected 721 votes yet.
An start time piep without a rider, The camera followes just the ghost, showing all the respectfull good bye waving fans. I just want to pass this idea to the UCI and Red Bull TV via you. In an kind of empty room this idea seamed right to me, dont know a better reaction.
Stevies ghost will be there anyway, let us say goodbye, on the track, and in front of our computers.
saw it too - great it happens and thx @Hwulex for coming up with that idea. very good thing to do
I was looking forward to possibly meeting him again at crankworxs this year, and watching him kick ass for Canada at the world cup, and seeing him shred in the next movie....Dammit
You will be missed and never forgotten....RIP Stevie
My deepest condolences to his family and girlfriend
And ditto to your last statement--RIP, Chainsaw.
Just listen to it and feel devastated as I did RIP
I wish strength to the family.
He will be remembered by all of us for all the good things he has done and will live forever.
My image of Stevie has developed into a man with a curly-q moustache, a big grin, and a Canadian emblem on his left shoulder, representing his country to be the best in the world, atop that Devinci Wilson.
For Mother's Day, Stevie might not be around, but his talent, personality, and race results have given you the attention to become a symbol of what it means to be a mother who enabled their son to achieve his dreams. Its hard to top that kind of mother's day gift. He got unlimited G.N.A.R. points for that.
All the videos help capture what Stevie was about and immortalize him in the mountain bike community and in mountain bike history. You might not realize that your image is immortalized as well.
Thanks again for quite literally driving Stevie to the top.
I have two sons and cant imagine how you are feeling at the moment.
i hope you continue to feel the full support of the mtb community because your son is so important to it.
We would like to support you in any way and will help you.
God bless parents like you. Keep up strong. We all love you.
My condolences to all Smith family and yes to all of us (we are a big family after all)
Looking through the comments and seeing how impacted everyone from AROUND the world is by the loss of a such a nice and awesome human being, is really hearting.
Steve Smith was a Canadian rider in a sport dominated by Brits and riders around the world. I was expecting to see a lot of North American love.
But, looking through the comments you see flags of the UK, Germany, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, Greece, Guatemala, Philippines, Spain, Scotland, Bulgaria, Portugal, Peru, Slovakia, Indonesia.
All wishing the best for his family and sharing their devastation to the news. Its so amazing that a 26 year old guy that just loves to ride mountain bikes can effect so many peoples lives from across the globe. The majority, having never even met him.
Steve Smith was such an inspiration to everyone and through his passing; true to his nature, he has inspired this International Community to go out a ride for him.
Unforgotten is the scene from "Seasons", where I saw you both for the first time. From then on, every time when I saw Steve I had to think about his awesome mom. Please don't think for even one second that you should have protected your child better. You've done everything right. You respected and supported the passion of your child in a way a mom couldn't have done it better. With your love you made a legend who will live in our hearts forever ...
O Icarus of the fearless flight
For the greatest tragedy of them all
Is never to feel the burning light.”
Going to go for a ride on the Devinci Wilson this evening in memory of Stevie.
I wish I could do it on the weekend, but I'm heading out of town for a new job.
Now, forever number one. Thoughts to his Mom and family. I hope I can be as good a dad to my kids as you were to Stevie. Canada and mountain biking are better for having had him.
I never met Stevie Smith personally but just by following the WC coverage and some videos/articles regarding him you could already tell that this was one of the most humble and down to earth guys in the biking world with bike riding skills beyond what a normal human being can think of. With the death of my father in a sports accident I know how it feels to lose someone loved. My dad died in a hang-gliding accident, one of his favourite hobbys in life - and im happy he didn't die in a car accident for example...
But on the other hand there will come great things with a tragic loss like this - even if that sounds completely absurd. I always appreciated life and all the great things I can do. You should appreciate it to have the oppurtunity to do what you love. Do it often and don't just talk about it - you have the chance to do it. If you want to be a downhill pro, try to achieve the dream. If you want to just ride your bike - do it as often as you can. Also spend time with your loved ones that mean a lot to you, don't just talk about meeting up.
Life is only short from my point of view if you didn't do the things you love and if you wasted most of your time talking about not having time for anything. The thing is what I want to point out: Take your time for the things and people that you love! I think Stevie would be really happy to see all the people comment on here and after that go out for a ride! He died way too young but I think he really enjoyed his life.
My thoughts are with his family and close ones - for me you never passed away Stevie!
26 ain't dead - shred with pace Stevie!
Lets keep the chainsaw running!
I'm gunna ride today and I'm gunna enjoy it........for you brother. RIP
I only had the chance to meet Stevie in person once, for about 10 minutes while buying a bike from him. I wish I had spent more time and had more of a chance to converse. I feel absolutely heart broken that I didnt get to know him more, and I really wish I had been able to spend more time with such an awesome character and one of my heroes.
I know that Stevie and McGazza are now shredding in peace. #longlivechainsaw #McGazzaForever
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.
Truly a huge loss. My sincerest condolences to his family and friends. He touched and inspired so many of us that I'm sure he had no idea.
He will not be forgotten.
I for one am in favor of, at least for this year, renaming Whistler Crankworx to "Smithworx".
Ride in peace Stevie.
Stevie: you are a hero and an inspiration. May you Ride In Peace, my friend.
My deepest condolences go out to Stevie’s family, friends, biking community (recognizing a star in a making) and especially his mother. She is such a special person for letting her son be the best athlete and supporting his dreams. I can speak on behalf of many people who he has touched. Thank you for raising such a great human! We will all miss him, a part of all of us died today.
Mountain biking has lost one of the greats.
Rest in Peace Steve
Broken pencil, who?
Nevermind. It's pointless.
Shred in paradise brother, I hope we can ride once I'm there. Watching world cups at 5AM isnt gonna be the same without you
My heart aches for Steve's mom, his family and friends.
RIP Stevie. We met one time in Kamloops, and you changed my life forever.
We were introduced to this dedicated young man and his equally dedicated Mother in his video segment in Seasons many years ago and it was clear, he was destined for success. For us Canadians, we've watched with pride as this talented kid progressed and grew and ultimately took the World Cup DH Title, all with style, grace and his unmistakable, charismatic presence.
We've been with him all the way; the entire nation (as we were when Dustin Adams represented us all in DH).
This is the saddest day for the Canadian mountain bike community. Our hearts are heavy as we think about Stevie and his family. A smile returns when we remember this young kid we we're all introduced to back then, the kid we've loved ever since.
Lemmy, Prince, Bowie and now the chainsaw!
The world has truely lost something special today, Stevie will be remembered by generations to come as the mad man from Canada.
Race in peace Stevie Smith.
f*ck this. Can't believe it.
love his final run at Leogang, he breaks the heart of Gee, now he breaks the heart of the whole mountain bike community
― Hunter S. Thompson
Such a shame Steve didn't get his fair share of time to ride, but I always think of this when people wonder how it is we can all love such a dangerous sport (and/or lifestyle) so much.
I ride moto and the speeds and intensity are super crazy. One thing goes wrong at 80km/hour and it's over. Same with DH I guess as well, it's all just a huge yet calculated risk. No disrespect but I'm hearing this was motocross and enduro--there's a fairly big difference. I guess it doesn't matter in the end, but would also provide some closure on a fairly selfish level to know...
Though times, take care out there.
You were such an incredible legend to all of us, without you mountain biking will not ever be the same again.
Looking at Mt. Prevost every time will give me chills, can`t believe that you are not with us anymore.
You wrote history you touched many of us with the way you were.
You will be missed Stevie.
Condolences to all the family and friends, I wish I could help to ease the pain.
The film follow me with Stevie & Gee hammering down the side of New Zealand being filmed by the helicopter is my fav. all time bit of mtb filming, the music is wicked, the speed of the 2 of them racing one another - is all that mountain biking is - fun. When the run is finished and Stevie is saying "best trail ever" well makes me smile. Am going to make a cuppa and watch it now.
I have watched Seasons too many times, but liked that his mum featured in the film, showed his family values.
You were the man with the great smile and amazing style, a real inspiration to so many.
You will be sadly missed – RIP.
My last memory of Stevie was his manual/wheelie across the line in Cairns at the last DH, true legend styling it out. Pure Class
RIP bro, you will never be forgotten.
.....thanks for making him the human he was.... our thoughts are with you and your family in this very hard time....
he was the main reason why i got into dh.... always wanted to meet him and finally early this year i met him at the queenstown bikepark. can't remember when i met such a down to earth guy like steve...
he'll be never forgotten !!!! NEVER !!!
You and your family have the support of the whole community, anything you need/want to do, just tell us, and we all will be at that.
The world lost an incredible person, but he will live in our heart for ever
Such an ambassador to this sport at such a young age. So unfair that he was taken from his family and all of us brothers and sisters of the sport.
Steve....ride that endless trail and rest in peace brother
RIP Stevie, we'll miss ya man
If anyone wants to use this, I made it to show support for the loss of a legend in this sport and one of the greatest ambassadors the MTB scenes has ever seen.
RIP Stevie. #longlivechainsaw
I still remember him from Seasons movie and his mum saying that one day who knows he will be number 1...
R.I.P Stevie Smith
Sad day for Canada and mountain biking. Sympathy to the family and friends.
You will be missed Stevie. Ride In Peace.
(Hopefully, a certain manufacturer won't be putting out another mis-timed fake eulogy video saying goodbye to the front derailleur. Death is real, man.)
Ride in peace Mr Smith .. ;(
Local news has a little more information about the story www.cheknews.ca/tributes-pour-honouring-nanaimo-star-steve-smith-174600
Ride In Peace Stevie... You'll be greatly missed...
Yep, those are tears...
la concha de tu madre puto año de mierda… que se termine rapido la puta que te pario!