Motocross has its fair share of racers who do unbelievably difficult stunts only to sustain terrible injuries. Most of these accidents have led racers to early retirement and lifelong rehabilitation. There are some, however, who continued on reaching for the skies despite their injuries. These brave people live to tell their stories on the importance of motocross safety standard.
The Tale of Doug Henry
For many motocross enthusiasts, Doug Henry is the epitome of a true racer. He has won numerous American Motocross Association races and is a medallist for the Men’s Snow mobile division in the Winter X games. He has achieved considerable success, but perhaps what endeared him the most of the public is his never-say-die attitude and incredible tale of recovery.
Henry burst onto the scene in1993as a member of Team Honda. He ruled the 125cc division with convincing wins. There was even a time when he beat well-known riders such as Ryan Hughes and Steve Lamson while suffering from a stomach ailment. In 1995, he moved up to 250cc where he competed with other contenders for the top spot.
Then tragedy struck.
Vying for a place in a race at Budds Creek, Maryland, Henry overshot an 80-foot jump. He was slipping off the bike on the face of the hill, which made him apply full throttle. Henry fell to the flat ground, suffering a broken back. Paramedics quickly came to his side, fearing it might be the end of his career.
The injury could have been worse though. If not for safety gears such as neck brace and protective helmet, Henry would have been paralysed. Because he wore these pieces of safety equipment, he did not suffer extensive injuries and was able to overcome the terrible setback.
Road to Recovery
Henry fought back and immediately earned his place on the podium. Though the 80-foot fall was not the last accident he got into, he showed that he can achieve motocross success and became one of the sport’s enduring icons. He has also ushered in the development for better motocross safety gears such neck brace and back protectors.
Today, Doug Henry is in semi-retirement. Though he seldom participates in high –profile races, he will always go down in the annals of sports history as one of the toughest racers who ever lived. For more information on modern safety gears, check out websites and browse different motocross equipment pages.