Paraplegic Athlete Performs Motorcycle Backflip at Nitro Circus

Sometimes an athletic feat is impressive. Other times it’s completely inspiring. This one, we think, is mind-blowing.

Executing a backflip on a motorcycle is in itself a difficult and dangerous thing to do, and we don’t claim to be in any league that could attempt to pull it off. But competitive FMX rider Bruce Cook can, or could, until he sustained a massive injury. Cook seemed to be out of commission after a slip up on a big stunt left him without the use of his legs.

To most people, this would indicate the end of any kind of motorcycle related activity, but Cook determined not to quit.

During a Nitro Circus Show in Toronto in October, Cook became the first paraplegic athlete to successfully backflip a motorcycle. The show took place during the second leg of the 2015 North American Tour, after months of preparation.

It was Cook’s previous attempt at a record that cost him the use of his legs. In January 2014 during another Nitro show in Hamilton, the 26-year-old was attempted the first double front flip on a motorcycle. He failed to execute the stunt, and a hard crash broke one of his vertebrae. He was rushed to the hospital and underwent surgery, but ultimately doctors couldn’t repair his damaged spinal cord.

Ten months later he was back on a bike to train for his next attempt at a record; this time as a paraplegic.

Cook’s bike was modified to secure his legs during the rotation. That sounds like a good idea, except when we consider that in this condition he was completely unable to quickly bail if he needed to. This augmented danger only increased the suspense as Cook lined up for the run.

In the end, he pulled it off. Fellow rider Travis Pastrana later said, “In Nitro Circus, we are all about pushing boundaries and overcoming obstacles in order to reach our goals, and Bruce lives that day in and day out.”

Cook’s come-back and accomplishment is being hailed as the biggest moment in Nitro history.