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From welder to world extreme games star

Jed Mildon performing a trick for Nitro Circus. PHOTO/GETTY IMAGES


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It would take plenty of courage for most people to attempt a single backflip on a BMX bike, let alone four.

In 2011 Kiwi rider Jed Mildon became the first person in the world to land a triple backflip on a bike.

In 2015 he went one step further, becoming the first person to land a quadruple backflip.

The 31-year-old former welder from Taupo is now part of the famous Nitro Circus group led by stunt master Travis Pastrana, and will be one of the main attractions at Tuesday’s Huri Huri Family Fun Evening at Mitre 10 Mega.

Mildon has returned to New Zealand until March, after performing in shows around the world from January to November last year.

He said he only realised BMX was a sport when he was 14, and it was not his first sporting passion.

“I grew up playing rugby, and my dream was to be an All Black.

“I played rugby for 13 years.”

When Mildon heard Nitro Circus were attempting a triple backflip — hoping one of their riders would be the first to land the daring manoeuvre — he decided to beat them to it.

“I built a jump in Auckland and it was designed to do a double flip.

“I did it first go and straight away I thought we could do three, and then we knew it would be possible to do four.”

The motivation to achieve the seemingly impossible stemmed from nobody having completed the feat before, and Mildon knew it would be his best chance of progressing his career.

“There was a bit of a dream and vision there,” he said.

“From that, I had the vision that if I did this I would be professional, and it worked.”

It will be Mildon’s first time riding in Masterton, and he was looking forward to the occasion.

His enthusiasm for the sport is contagious, and he was hopeful some of the younger generation might be impressed by what they see.

“It’s what we’re passionate about — especially when we can show people who haven’t necessarily seen what we’ve done before.

“It might open their eyes up to what the sport is and what we do.”

Mildon concedes age is catching up with him, and said for most riders their physical peak was between the ages of 24-29.

He said a quintuple backflip was “definitely possible”, but would most likely be up to his successors to achieve.

“I got all my flips in while my body could handle it.

“I’m sure one of the younger riders will get there one day.”

You might think somebody attempting such daring tricks would have sustained their fair share of injuries, but Mildon said he had been extremely lucky in that regard.

“Concussions are probably the worst — your bones and ligaments and muscles can heal.

“I’ve always made sure whatever I’ve done has been calculated, and when things have gone wrong it’s more because of a lapse in concentration.”

For now, his attention has turned to giving back to the sport that has given him so much.

“We try and give back as much as we can — we’ve got an opportunity to spread the love.”

Mildon will be joined by Paul Langlands, Ellie Chew and Hugh Wotherspoon, who were all part of the display in Martinborough during last year’s festival.

The team will be performing between 4pm and 7pm.

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