Stevie: A Tribute

May 12, 2016 at 0:22
by Dom Wrapson  
The comment I made on Pinkbike's announcement of Stevie's passing has gathered a fair bit of attention: it has had numerous replies of support, and I've had messages from people wanting to help make it happen.

For reference, here's a copy of that message, or you can click the link above to see it on the announcement

bigquotesStevie is not only protected top-80, but also a tv-safe top-20 rider. I therefore propose either at Fort Bill as the next race, or perhaps more appropriately at MSA later this year, that the UCI allow a ghost-lap in his honour. His current ranking is 12th, so let's let him have his last run down the track in 12th spot out the start-gate. The crowd, organisers, commentators all pay a silent respect for his lap while the TV cameras track his would-be movements down a silent and empty track, then the biggest f**king cheer you've ever heard roars out down the entire track top to bottom as his name is posted on the board at the finish line. I think this would be a powerful and fitting tribute for a fantastic racer who had won the hearts and respect of so many from such a young age. Surely with enough support and knowing enough people in the right circles we could make this happen?

I've re-read my comment several times since I made it, thanks to all the replies of support, meaning I've had a bit of time to think the idea over. I stand by it, and it's something I would love to see happen, so I thought I would expand the idea and break it down a little further somewhere I have the space to do so, and also provide an anchor point to which people can link when trying to garner support.

My vision goes something like this:

Stevie is a top-80 protected rider. Furthermore, he is top-20 guaranteeing his run be shown on the live-stream. Now it's my understanding that if a top-20 rider fails to qualify inside 20th spot, then they are bumped up and start 20th regardless, even if they qualified last. I also understand there are rules about a rider at least starting their quali run in order to qualify for finals, but this is where I would like to see the UCI make an exception. Ignoring the fact Stevie can't roll out the start gate (we've seen riders do it before then just stop and walk off track), let's hope the UCI are on board and he is entitled to his top-20 televised run at the very least.

In my original comment I said to start his run at 12th (his current ranking) but I agree with the comment from @TheBigMtt that being in the middle of the top-20 contenders would likely be quite disruptive.
I also don't know whether to propose this is done at Fort Bill as it's the next race, or we wait until MSA in August, on Stevie's home soil.

Here's my updated vision. It would need some careful timing to pull off, but would be so powerful.

- Rider 20: Stevie's bike is propped up in the gate, the cranks backward spinning as the camera cuts over
- Rob and Claudio introduce Stevie and say some words about him, his career, his achievements, and then his passing; his family's loss, Canada's loss, mountain biking's loss. Our loss
- Rob and Claudio then sign off, and the track, crowd, radios, all fall silent
- The start beeps count down, and Stevie's ghost is on-track
- The live-feed shows the usual out-the-gate, panning with him as he sets off
- Track marshals blow their whistles a few seconds apart (actual would need to be calculated) working from top-to-bottom
- Skip to the regular televised section start to meet the whistle-descent, at which point we know exactly how long the feed will take to get him to the bottom (which is usually 2-3 minutes of televised run)
- The cameras pan and follow Stevie's ghost as if they would the other riders
- The marshal whistles mark Stevie's progress, trackside still silent
- The finish-line timer is counting down
- The feed and marshal whistles follow Stevie's ghost all the way to the finish when we see the clock reach zero. Stevie is neither red nor green. He zeroes out, and the timer remains black
- The crowd goes absolutely nuts, a roar erupts in the stands; track-side top to bottom cries of "STEVIE" and a chorus of chainsaws rings out, and everyone watching around the world shout and cheer in celebration of the one Stevie Smith

#LongLiveChainsaw, the only guy I've ever seen pre-jump in to the In Deep rock-roll in Whistler Bike Park. Whutt?!


  • + 4
 Thank you for this idea. This could be a proper way to adress our loss.
I guess it need to happen at the next WC race, because his ghost will be there anyway.
And it need to be in the live stream, but may happen between Women and Men. We on our computers stand up, spam our condolences worldwide in just one moment.
I did announce many races in 20 years now and had the fear that one day I need to announce such loss. I made myself ideas close to yours. Ghostlap and marshal whistle.
How can we make this work? Are any responsible persons involved now?
  • + 5
 I did send an Email to David Vasquez to Support the idea. He is UCI Gravity coordinator. He told me, Red Bull Media House "has the idea and is working in it".
  • + 1
 Amazing. Thank you!
  • + 1
  • + 2
 Thanks for taking the time to write this up. A very powerful idea.

Should we send the link to this article to the likes of RedBull, UCI etc...?
Sending it to WC athletes that are active on social media (Peaty, Manon, etc..) could also make a breakthrough to the organisers.

Any other idea how to grab attention?
  • + 1
 I just sent the link to Devinci here on Pinkbike, for a start.
  • + 3
 @TheBigMtt: I tweeted it to both UCI and UCI_MTB and then a bunch of publications and manufs and Stevie's sponsors last night from my @domwrap twitter account. I've also been put in contact with the organisers of Fort Bill, and the DHI Coordinator for Windham has also messaged me to get involved. Here's hoping we can get buy in from the right stake holders.
  • + 1
 @Hwulex: Amazing, thanks for the update. Any support you need, please let us know through this page.
  • + 5
 This sounds like a fantastic idea and as a Marshall at Fort William would be glad to be part of it.
  • + 1
 I shared the idea in German. Only positive feedback.
The questions are: Where should it happen? I guess in FtBill because this is the next race and there will many people meet first time. So it will be theme in the pits and Liveshow and touching and so on. Time to say good Bye and face it. But next question: will it only happen if UCI and red Bull media house make it or can it be a fans action? I think this can Happen with Fans, whistles, timing and coordination. In Soccer this actions of fans like that happen more often and show the Fans as an activ force
  • + 1
 Or - a rider all in white - like a ghost rider. White bike too - and a Canadian flag flying off his shoulders like a cape. THAT would break me. I'm already tearful thinking about it.
  • + 1
 And - rename the World Cup trophy to be the "Stevie Smith" cup.

Or - another award to the best rising junior each year - developing riders, as an encouragement award to "be like Stevie"...
  • + 1
 I totally support this. A fitting tribute to a young man who committed his life to biking and the mountain bike community. Rest in peace, friend.
  • + 1
 If it Works as an fan organised action in Scottland, it will also work in MSA!!!
  • + 1
 Thaks man. It's going to happen. I'm shure Stevie is already practicing that lap Smile
  • + 1
 In tears just imaging this my friend, what a great tribute to a great rider and person ... CHAINSAW
  • + 1
 Good skills. Let's all make this happen.
  • + 1

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