Jaie Toohey Won't Quit
By Justin W. Sanders
Australian BMX pro Jaie Toohey is not only a daring, imaginative trick-maker, he's a warrior who has overcome tremendous adversity to keep reaching higher.
Growing up outside of Sydney, Toohey started racing BMX at the age of 3, but quickly realized racing wasn't for him. “I didn’t actually enjoy it,” he says. “All I enjoyed doing was jumping the jumps and trying to do tricks. Every day after school, every weekend, my parents would be taking me to skatepark after skatepark. Twenty-six years later, I’m here where I am today, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
In 2011, at a Nitro Circus show in Brisbane, Toohey landed the World’s First backflip triple tailwhip. Not surprisingly, the trick became a much anticipated part of his repertoire, but eventually its high level of difficulty would catch up with him. The next year, while performing in Adelaide, he suffered a crash while attempting the flip triple whip, which Nitro Circus producer Jeremy Rawle would later call one of the worst he'd ever seen. Toohey broke his tibia and fibula in the crash, an injury that might sideline some athletes for good. But Toohey returned six months later to a show in Stockholm, only to break his leg again while attempting the same trick.
Even the most mentally tough athletes would justifiably be crushed by such a double helping of setback, but few of them are athletes riding at the level of NWG competitors. Toohey came roaring back in a triumphant return that saw him attempting the flip triple whip yet again, this time in New Zealand. He landed it.
The 27-year-old returns to the Nitro World Games this June after a sixth-place finish in last year’s BMX Best Tricks event, and he’s as fearless and creative as ever. “At World Games, we are going out there to do the unthinkable,” he says. “The biggest and best tricks in the world. Tricks that haven’t even been landed yet. Last year was crazy, and this year is going to be even crazier. There’s only one thing to do differently this year, and that’s go bigger.”
Tickets are on sale now for the 2017 Nitro World Games, which will be held on June 24 in Salt Lake City and broadcast live on NBC.