Press Release – Whole Nine Yards
After conquering life threatening injuries and depression, New Zealand freestyle motocross star – Luke Smith – is about to officially kick start his big comeback at a Nitro Circus Live stunt in Auckland on 16 October.
Luke who will be appearing in Nitro Circus next year will be commentating at the crazy stunt which will officially launch the 2013 Nitro Circus Live New Zealand tour.
The ‘Freedom Flyers’ stunt will see famous USA action sports star – Dusty Wygle – riding a Big Wheel bike which is catapulted forward by a giant rubber band, over a ramp and into an Angry Birds-style structure made up of people. The stunt will be a first in New Zealand and will take place at the Gateway Plaza at the Viaduct Harbour in Auckland.
It will be a fitting start to the relaunch of the 30 year old FMX star’s career, after an accident that occurred while practicing at a friend’s farm in 2009 almost ended his life.
“A small stone got lodged between the disk and pads on my bike locking the front wheel on landing and sending me face first into the ground. My helmet literally exploded on impact.”
Luke said he has few memories of the incident and instead relies on witness accounts of what occurred.
After the accident, he was unconscious for 25 minutes and was placed in an induced coma for eight days. He spent four and a half months in hospital recovering from the injuries he sustained which included frontal lobe damage and swelling on the left hand side of his brain. As a result, his sense of balanced was affected, he suffered short-term memory loss and had to learn basic motor skills all over again.
“I had to re-learn simple things most people take for granted such as walking and standing upright.”
Unable to get back on a bike for three years he battled bouts of severe depression, as he struggled to come to terms with swapping a career that involved travelling around the world performing death defying stunts for a life of recuperation.
Luke said he now wants to encourage kids and his fans that suffer from depression to get help before it’s too late.
“I battled some horrible demons and there were times I almost took my life. The anger inside me drove me crazy and I went to a very dark place. I shut myself away from the world gave all of my bike gear and lots of stuff that reminded me of bikes away and tried to block it out of my life,” he said.
“I had to see psychiatrists and I still take tablets three years on but there is light at the end of the tunnel.”
Three years on, Luke is now set to take his place alongside some of the most talented riders across freestyle motocross, BMX, skateboard and anything on wheels, as they prepare to perform to sold out venues across New Zealand.
“Nitro circus is the best crew of riders in the world so I had to prove to them that I was back,” he said.
“I put in a huge number of hours training, to make sure I could perform all the upside down and over-the-top tricks in the sport.”
This is the second time Nitro Circus has toured New Zealand after selling 100,000 tickets to the 2011 tour, making it the most successful touring act of New Zealand in that year.
As to whether Luke fears reinjuring himself or falling off his bike, he remains resolute.
“I have already had another big crash. When I got back to flipping, I under rotated and knocked myself out and broke my shoulder,” he said.
“I could die doing these tricks but that’s a calculated risk I choose to take. Years of experience have taught me that it’s better to follow my dreams than live a life with regrets.”
For ticket information, venues and dates about the 2013 Nitro Circus New Zealand tour, please visit http://nitrocircuslive.com