np 020516 mirrajpgDave Mirra, one of the most influential BMX riders of all-time, died Thursday of what Greenville, North Carolina police believe was a self-inflicted gunshot wound. In his death, the world of extreme sports has lost one of its most vocal and devoted advocates.

The 41-year-old was an internationally recognized icon in the BMX world who helped take the sport to new levels. A native of upstate New York, Mirra became a professional BMX rider in 1992 at the age of 18. He spent the next decade dominating the X-Games, where he won 24 medals, a record that stood until 2013. In that time he also helped turn Greenville into the center of the BMX world. There are now so many professional riders living there, they've taken to calling it "ProTown."