Kelly McGarry, born on April 17, 1982, and tragically passing away on February 1, 2016, was a renowned professional freeride mountain biker from New Zealand who also made a name for himself as an X-Games athlete. He gained widespread recognition for his remarkable achievement at the 2013 Red Bull Rampage, where he astounded spectators by executing a backflip over a daunting 72-foot canyon gap.
This jaw-dropping feat was captured on video and quickly became a viral sensation on YouTube, amassing an impressive 200 million views. McGarry stood out as one of the most prominent and celebrated figures in the world of freeride mountain biking.
In light of the information shared earlier, Kelly McGarry, who tragically passed away at the age of 33 in 2016, continues to capture the spotlight in people’s curiosity. This article delves into the details of Kelly McGarry’s death and provides additional insights into his life and legacy.
Kelly McGarry’s Death: Tragic Loss Of Renowned Freerider To Cardiac Arrest
The mountain biking community mourns the loss of Kelly McGarry, a renowned freerider who passed away on February 1, 2016. Contrary to initial reports of a fatal crash, Kelly, a Kiwi mountain biker from Nelson, New Zealand, tragically succumbed to a cardiac arrest caused by an arrhythmia while riding near Queenstown.
The 33-year-old was on the Fernhill Loop Track, situated high above Queenstown’s Skyline Gondola, when he suffered a heart attack during an uphill ride. According to his close friend and former teammate Eric Porter, the ascent was not strenuous, and Kelly was taking it easy with frequent breaks. Porter explains, “He wasn’t racing or pushing himself too hard. Near the summit, he suddenly collapsed.”
While the official medical examiner’s report was pending, those who knew him well insist that Kelly had no prior indication of heart problems. Two German companions who were riding with him to capture video footage for his bike sponsor, YT Industries, performed CPR after he lost consciousness. Unfortunately, their efforts were in vain. Paramedics airlifted to the scene declared Kelly McGarry dead at 4:20 p.m. local time.
Known affectionately as “McGazza” to friends and fans, Kelly was a lasting figure in the world of slopestyle mountain biking. His journey began in BMXing, and in 2006, he burst onto the mountain biking scene by participating in Crankworx, which was then an open invitation event, where he secured the 18th position.
Standing at an impressive 6’5″ and weighing over 200 pounds, with distinctive curly bleached hair and a laid-back demeanor, Kelly was impossible to miss. He swiftly garnered sponsorships, recounting, “I never imagined I’d end up making a living from it back then, but I persevered, started achieving good results, and caught people’s attention.”
Kelly McGarry: Fearless Freerider And Beloved Personality
McGarry had a well-earned reputation for fearlessly tackling some of the most challenging features and attempting daring stunts in the world of mountain biking. Among his most famous and widely viewed achievements was his incredible 72-foot backflip over a canyon gap during the 2013 Red Bull Rampage.
This breathtaking feat, which has garnered over 220 million views on YouTube to date, not only earned McGarry a silver medal at that year’s Rampage but also won him the People’s Choice award. This spectacular display of skill and bravery earned him the admiration of mountain biking enthusiasts and extreme sports athletes worldwide.
In addition to his iconic Red Bull Rampage performance, McGarry was known for his involvement in thrilling events that pushed the boundaries of freeride mountain biking, such as Red Bull Sky Gate. While pursuing his passion for these daring endeavors, he experienced a significant crash during one of the Sky Gate events, which sidelined him for a couple of months.
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Beyond his extraordinary feats on the bike, those who had the privilege of knowing McGarry often described him as “one of the most amiable and humorous individuals you could ever meet.”