Conquering injuries, freestyle motocross star Luke Smith makes his big comeback at the Nitro Circus Live show at the North Harbour Stadium on Saturday.
The tour marks a highly anticipated return to the sport for the 30-year-old Stanmore Bay rider.
A crash landing on his head while practising at a friend's Rodney farm in 2009 for the Kumeu hot rod show almost killed him.
He was unconscious for 25 minutes and placed in an induced coma eight days, spending four and a half months in hospital. Injuries included frontal lobe damage and brain swelling on the left side. His sense of balance was affected, he suffered short-term memory loss and had to relearn basic motor skills.
He took up car drift racing for a while then returned to stunt riding with his Moto Mayhem team. Late last year he badly broke an ankle.
Luke hadn't fully recovered when he and another Moto Mayhem rider performed stunts, including his trademark backflips, at the Waitakere Lions Cracker Christmas show at The Trusts Stadium on December 22.
He is now set to take his place alongside some of the most talented riders across freestyle motocross, BMX, skate and anything on wheels.
"In the show there is a best whip competition and I'll be going up against three X Games medallists," Luke says. "I plan on showing New Zealand that even after a big injury I can whip it with the best of them, and try to take out the win on home soil." Luke will join a crew including those from the hit MTV series and the 3D movie, such as Special Greg, Streetbike Tommy, Gregg Godfrey and Jeremy Rawle, all from the United States.
X Games medallists from Australia Blake ‘Bilko' Williams, king of the FMX whip Jarryd McNeil, Sydney X Fighters Champion Josh Sheehan, Steve Mini and Clinton Moore perform.
The show also features some of the best BMX riders in the world, including Taupo rider Jed Mildon, who performed the world's first triple backflip. Others are Chad Kagy (US), double front-flipping Aussie Andy Buckworth and triple backflipper James Foster (US). Kids trikes, snow skis, Barbie cars, garbage bins, chilly bins and more will be launched off the 15 metre Nitro Gigant-A-Ramp on the multi-million dollar set.
- Rodney Times
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