One Year Later

ESPN

Jeremy Lusk celebrates his first X Games gold at the Home Depot Center in 2008.

Today marks the one-year anniversary of Jeremy Lusk's death. It's hard to believe that an entire year has flown by since his passing. It seems like just yesterday that I was reporting the horrific news of his crash and ultimately his death right here on ESPN.com/Action. Since Jeremy's passing, the sport hasn't been the same, but even though the FMX community's wounds are still healing, his untimely death has ultimately changed the sport for the better.

After Lusk passed, the Lusk Legacy Foundation was founded, as well as the AFMXA -- which stands for American Freestyle Motocross Association. With the focus of making FMX a stronger, successful -- and most importantly -- safer sport, both organizations wouldn't exist if it weren't for Lusk's unfortunate situation. As it turns out, the old statement really does ring true: "Sometimes you have to lose everything in order to gain something."

Since Jeremy Lusk touched so many people throughout his short, yet overly-fulfilled life, I decided to reach out to the motocross community, asking them to share a few words about Lusk.

Jeremy, thanks so much for showing us how powerful the human spirit really is. We all love and miss your presence. Click here to view our Jeremy Lusk ZOOM gallery, celebrating Lusk's life and career.

Garth Milan

Jeremy was a gifted rider who made photographers' jobs easy. Ocotillo Wells (pictured) was one of his favorite places to ride.

Blake "Bilko" Williams - Pro FMX Rider
Jeremy was a true competitor a great champion, but also a great friend and I have the utmost respect for him and everything he's done in our sport. Miss ya buddy!

Jeff "Ox" Kargola - Pro FMX Rider
In my eyes Jeremy Lusk is still very much alive. He is alive in the respect that his never give up and his "I can conquer anything" attitude is an attribute I look to for strength and inspiration when the odds seem stacked against me. I saw a lot of myself and who I want to be in Jeremy, which makes it hard to accept even a whole year later. Although he is no longer with us in the physical sense, his memory will live on forever. We've shared so many great times and somewhere down the road we will meet again.

I can see all the positive changes Jeremy's passing has brought. He's changed people's attitudes, riding, outlook on life and also he's also changed the structuring of FMX competitions and safety.

-- Nate Adams

Nate Adams - Pro FMX Rider
It definitely doesn't feel like it's been a year since Jeremy passed. A part of me still can't believe that he's gone. But when I look at the entire FMX community, I can definitely see all the positive changes and positive attitudes Jeremy's passing has brought. He's changed people's attitudes, riding, outlook on life and also other major changes in the structuring of FMX competitions and safety. And most importantly, I've seen so many people willing to accept God in their lives. Sometimes it takes a tragedy for us to see the bigger picture. I miss Jeremy a ton, and I'd trade all those things just to have him back. I rest in the comfort that Jeremy is well and I'll see him again. Much love Jeremy.

Adam Barker - Film Producer, Lone Gut Productions
I met Lusk at Ocotillo. He was a grom and he asked if he could tag along as I shot Tommy Clowers. He had no sponsors yet -- except maybe SRH -- but he respectfully hit every jump that Tommy hit. He had no tricks, but lots of determination and bike control -- it made me think he was maybe related to Ezra Lusk.

We did his "Blowing Up" section on Fuel TV's M80 shortly after -- it was his first ever interview. He told me he had hard set goals, and he was really focused to: 1. Get on a tour, 2. Learn the backflip, 3. Win X Games.

I didn't really give it much thought since everyone coming up says that. Shortly after -- he called me asking me to come film him on the FreestyleMX.com tour. He was so pumped to ride with established riders like Clifford Adoptante, Shawn Highland, John Distler and Jim McNeil -- and he was getting paid to ride! A year later, he invited me to Camp Chuck to film as he learned to backflip on dirt. After he dialed the flip, it was over -- he had one of the fastest, most calculated rises to the top in FMX history, and he blew everyone's mind with his rate of progression. Even though he was killing it, I would always tease him about that first interview and say "Getting 2 out of 3 goals accomplished isn't bad." After he won X-Games, I saw him at a bar and he confidently held three fingers above his head.

Chris Stock

Most people's first impression of Jeremy that he was serious and reserved guy. It was only after you got to know him that he would open up and show his lighter side, which is how most of his peers will remember him.

Destin Cantrell - Pro FMX Rider
I miss you bud and I can't wait to ride with you again someday. I'll never forget the hilarious time we had in Corpus Christi. We all love and miss you!

Dano Legere - Team Manager, DVS Shoes
I miss karaokeing with him. He had one of the best Billy Idol "White Wedding" performances I have ever seen.

Garth Milan - Photographer, The Medium Creative Group
It seems like just yesterday I was showing Jeremy the LCD screen on the back of my camera, telling him how sick he was riding and egging him on to go that much bigger. I miss you homey -- the sport ain't been the same since you left!

I actually looked down at my LUSK wristband in the shower today and realized that it is time to cut it off. The mourning can end and the celebration of Jeremy's life should begin -- that's what he would want.

-- Tes Sewell

Tes Sewell - Red Bull X-Fighters Sport Director, ESPN.com/Action Columnist
I actually looked down at my LUSK wristband in the shower today and realized that it is time to cut it off. The mourning can end and the celebration of Jeremy's life should begin -- that's what he would want. Jeremy was always such a positive force, with that wicked sense of humor.

This is one of my favorite pics -- just a quiet moment in the riders' area at Red Bull X-Fighters in Madrid 2008. Jeremy was giving Erik Apple a hard time about his "bling." It was such a funny exchange -- they were easy going times. That night, Lusk did the unthinkable and beat Spain's own Dany Torres in the Las Ventas bullring. The jester could become the warrior so convincingly.

Jay Schweitzer - Film Producer, Powerband Films
Lusk was so much fun to film and hang out with. That last helicopter shoot we did a few days before he went to Costa Rica will go down as our best heli shoot ever. Thank you Jeremy. You will be missed, but never forgotten.

Dan McGranahan - Talent Manager, Icon 1 Agency
Jeremy Lusk lived life to the fullest with his family, friends and freestyle. I'm inspired to push for more every time I think of him. "In God's Hands."

Keith Sayers - Pro FMX Rider
Lusk was one of the few guys that was real. He was an average guy that wasn't afraid to follow his dreams of becoming the baddest rider in our sport! RIP Lusk!

Garth Milan

2008 was all Jeremy. He won gold and silver at XG14, two golds at XG Mexico, and was voted <i>TransWorld Motocross</i> FMX Rider of the Year.

Justin Homan - Pro FMX Rider
Lusk had characteristics of a champion. He was quiet in talk, loud in action, humble in demeanor and fearless in heart. He was the best new era FMXer I've ridden with.

Shawn Neilson - Pro FMX Rider
I only knew Lusk for a short time, but quickly gained great respect for him. I will never forget him, or what he has done for us.

Myles Richmond - Pro FMX Rider
Jeremy Lusk was a motivator. Throughout the time I knew Jeremy, he wasn't all about making just himself the best. He wanted to motivate everyone, including myself, to be the best. He wanted to compete against the best and beat them -- and that's exactly what he did. You will be missed Jeremy.

Lusk had characteristics of a champion. He was quiet in talk, loud in action, humble in demeanor and fearless in heart. He was the best new era FMXer I've ridden with.

-- Justin Homan

Mike Metzger - Pro FMX Rider, Legend
I'd like to say that he was one of the most liked, inspirational riders of my time and one hell of a champion. There aren't many people in the world like Jeremy Lusk ... He was one of kind.

Rich Van Every - Photographer, Film Producer
I met Lusk while freeriding at Ocotillo Wells and he told me that he wanted to be one of the best FMX riders. I remember thinking how advanced the sport had become and wishing him "good luck" - but he didn't need that because his passion shined through for the sport he loved. It's inspiring to me to see someone go after a dream so big -- so courageously.

Tim O'Brien - Pro FMX Rider
Jeremy Lusk's mark on FMX and the hearts of the fans will last forever. Godspeed Lusk. You are missed.

Adam Jones - Pro FMX Rider
Jeremy definitely had a desire for greatness, he never settled for less then his best -- no matter what the circumstances were. I remember at the 2009 Mexico X Games, Jeremy had already sealed up the win going into his last run. The vibe wasn't so great because a bunch of guys had crashed that night. But Jeremy went out and tried even harder to up his score in his final run, even though he didn't have too. He ended up throwing down an even sicker run, upping his score by two or three points. I think that the things like that showed Jeremy's true character and his desire to do whatever he had to do to be on top. He will be remembered as an icon in the sport of FMX forever.

Daniel Eduarte

The X-Knights contest was like any other FMX event and Jeremy had time to catch up with fellow riders before getting down to business in practice. This photo was shot shortly before his fateful crash.

Jeff Tilton - Pro FMX Rider
Jeremy is still missed and always will be. It has been a tough year for our sport, but I feel it has also made it stronger and safer. Ride safe!

Steve Haughelstine - Pro FMX Rider, Film Producer
Jeremy was a real guy. Was a worker that was not sacred to follow his dreams and make them happen. I miss him.

Chuck Carothers - Pro FMX Rider
I'm not good with things like this. Thanks for all the good times and thanks for looking out for us. You are an inspiration to me and many more.

Taylor Sterner - Pro FMX Rider
Lusk was one of the most down to earth guys in the freestyle world. He always had a smile on his face, both on and off the bike. And u can't forget the skills he had -- he will never be forgotten as a one of the best riders to ever throw a leg over the bike!

Jeremy definitely had a desire for greatness, he never settled for less then his best -- no matter what the circumstances were. He will be remembered as an icon in the sport of FMX forever.

-- Adam Jones

Chris Tedesco - Photographer, ESPN.com/Action Contributor
Jeremy was one of the most honest and down to earth people I knew. No matter what the setting was, if Jeremy was around, you were sure to have a good time. I can't begin to understand why he was taken from us so soon. Although he is gone, his legacy will continue to inspire me till the day I get to see him again.

Malcolm McCassey - Company Owner, Ethika
The talent, humor, friendship, and love Jeremy blessed us with is timeless. He's with all of us everyday. It's impossible to go a day without having some laugh thinking about a classic one liner or prank he's thrown -- and it will be the same 20 years plus from now. Jeremy Lusk is with us everywhere!

"Mad" Mike Jones - Pro FMX Rider, Legend
We had many fun times together on tour. He was a real character and he always knew how to make us laugh. He was for sure the best entertainer ever and I miss him heaps.

Julian Dusseau - Pro FMX Rider
Lusk had a positive influence on every one lucky enough to know him. Whether in riding or personal life, he always had some advise to give or he'd just make some stupid joke just to get someone to crack a smile. He will be greatly missed, but he'll live on forever in all us who knew him.

Chris Tedesco

Jeremy's wife Lauren Lusk stood by his side till his last breath. A year later, Lauren is doing incredibly well with the help of others including Brian Deegan's wife, Marissa.

Paul Taublieb - X Games FMX Director
We were at a hotel in the desert way outside of Dubai city proper shooting FMX Riot 3 and Jeremy, whom I didn't really know well, came over and asked if he could sit down and join me. He just wanted to say thanks. He talked about his dad, and how he had learned that being appreciative was a characteristic which was important to him as a human being and out of respect for his father, and respect for the people who helped him, he wanted to say thanks.

He also asked me to thank the people at X Games for all they had done for the sport, even though he had yet to make his mark at that event. He wanted me to make sure they knew how much their support meant to the sport where his dream was to make a living and win an X Games medal. He was kind, genuine, thoughtful, mature and spoke quietly with confidence and humility at the same time. He then went out rode the dunes like a bad ass, and later his dream came true on top of the box at X. My memory of him is as a truly decent, considerate human being who had the joy of at least being able to have set a truly lofty, heroic goal and then seeing it achieved, and I'm thankful for having known him, however fleetingly.

Related Content