Mat Hoffman (1972-) Biography
Personal, Addresses, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Sidelights
Born 1972, in Oklahoma City, OK; Hobbies and other interests: Sky diving and other extreme sports.
Office—Hoffman Enterprises, P.O. Box 18931, Oklahoma City, OK 73154. Agent—Brian Dubin, William Morris Agency, 1325 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019.
Amateur freestyle BMX stunt bicyclist, 1984-88; professional freestyle BMX vert-ramp bicyclist, 1988—. Ten-time vert world champion; high air world record holder. Founder and president, Hoffman Promotions and Hoffman Bikes; producer, director, and host of bicycle competitions and television shows for ESPN2, including Kids in the Way, HBtv, and Mat's World; organizer of show tours, including Sprocket Jockey Bicycle Stunt Team, Crazy Freakin' Bikers Series, and Mat Hoffman's Crazy Freakin' Stunt Show. Consultant to movies, including Keep Your Eyes Open, Ultimate X, Triple X, Jackass: The Movie, and Tomb Raider 2. Participant, Tony Hawk's Boom Boom Huck Jam. Co-producer of video games, including Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX and Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX 2.
Numerous gold, silver, and bronze medals for BMX bicycle events and X Games events; Action Sports Lifetime Achievement Award from ESPN, 2002.
(With Mark Lewman) The Ride of My Life (autobiography), HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2003.
Pioneering athlete Mat Hoffman is one of the greatest vert-ramp bicycle riders in the world. With his daring extreme stunts and imaginative original moves, Hoffman has helped to establish freestyle BMX bike racing as an international sport with an ever-growing audience. Nicknamed "The Condor," Hoffman has seemed to defy gravity by becoming airborne on his custom-made bicycles and executing flips, turns, and other moves so radical that he had to name them himself. He is one of very few Americans who—as himself—is the star of two video games.
Hoffman began doing stunts on his bike when he was still a boy, and by the time he was thirteen he qualified to race as an amateur at national freestyle BMX events. At sixteen he turned pro and began a long domination of freestyle bicycle competitions that includes ten world championships, the high air world record, and the creation of more than 100 new tricks for vert—ramp biking. The championships have exacted a toll—he has suffered more than forty-five broken bones, has endured multiple concussions, and has undergone numerous surgical procedures, some of them for life-threatening injuries. Hoffman told the London Observer that the thrill of aerial stunt biking is worth the pain of the inevitable wipe-outs. "In the end, I think it defines how much I love what I do," he said. "To taste all the pleasure and success you have to be prepared to take all the pain and failures too. And I am."
As one of the early international stars of vert-ramp biking, Hoffman wisely noted that the sport was gaining in popularity. He formed his own production company to produce television and traveling shows that have brought in new viewers and participants. He also designed his own bicycles out of necessity and turned that into an international industry, Hoffman Bikes. Now in the twilight of his years as a competitor, he is well poised to continue making important contributions to his sport.
Most people are just embarking on their life careers at age thirty, but Hoffman had accomplished so much that he was ready to look back and write an autobiography. The Ride of My Life, co-authored with Mark Lewman, explores his life from the time he left school to compete in amateur events through his many years of top-level competition, to his success as the head of two companies. Written in a manner that can be enjoyed by both adults and children, The Ride of My Life includes numerous pictures of Hoffman executing his signature stunts and enjoying the accolades that came with his championships. In a Library Journal review of the book, Jamie Watson noted that while Hoffman's story might be enjoyed most by fans of extreme sports, "anyone could find inspiration from the success and pleasure he has gotten from hard work, passion, and desire."
In his London Observer profile, Hoffman said he has no plans to quit riding, despite the mounting physical damage he sustains from the effort. "I just want to see what I can do with my body and my bike," he said. "And challenge it daily. My motivation is not competition. I ride under the current terms, that I'm dealt with my body. And I enjoy riding as it is now as opposed to comparing it to anything else."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Daily News (Los Angeles, CA), August 16, 2003, Ramona Shelburne, "Bike Stunt Vert," p. S8.
Library Journal, May, 2003, Jamie Watson, review of The Ride of My Life, p. 181.
News Journal (Wilmington, DE), November 10, 2002, Holly Norton, "Extreme Sports Stars Mix It up on Tour," p. D1.
Observer (London, England), June 9, 2002, Matthew O'Donnell, "Up Where He Belongs: Mat Hoffman Is the King of BMX," p. 25.
People Weekly, September 16, 2002, Jason Lynch, "Leapin' Wizard: What's Biker Mat Hoffman's Most Awesome Stunt? Turning Himself into a Successful CEO," p. 101.
Hoffman Bikes, http://www.hoffmanbikes.com/ (June 8, 2004).*