Jeff Smith noon, March 8
Chula Vista Hosts BMX Hall of Fame Inductions
The American Bicycle Association, a national sanctioning body for BMX racing, held inductions to its Hall of Fame on Thursday, September 29. The Hall is located at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista.
Donny Atherton was honored as a pioneer of the sport and was a prominent part of Schwinn’s advertising campaign in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. He was the number one amateur rider in the nation in 1980 at age 16, turning pro in 1983 and winning the Rookie of the Year award after finishing third in pro rankings.
John Purse was also inducted after 30 years as a BMX racer, including 17 as a professional. He was also 17 years old when he first joined the pro ranks, forging his mother’s signature on his application. Purse won three national pro titles and one world championship in the mid-nineties, setting a record with 25 main event wins in the 1998 season.
Southern California native Mike Dominguez was honored for his freestyle riding career. He won his first King of the Skateparks competition in 1983, being the first to perform tricks that would become common X-Games fare in years to come such as the tailwhip and 900 (2 ½ airborne rotations).
Russ Okawa, who worked with numerous bicycle manufacturers and was credited with helping California-based Giant Bicycles become the leading bike brand in the world, was inducted posthumously.
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