Smith was a UCI World Cup sensation and Crankworx veteran, hailing from Vancouver Island, cutting his mountain-bike teeth on the lush trails of Mt. Prevost, and could frequently be found in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park.
Known as the "Canadian Chainsaw," Smith took World Cup wins at Leogang, Hafjell and Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec his first year on the circuit in 2013, earning him the World Cup Overall Title the same year.
Following several sidelined seasons due to injury, Smith began the 2016 season strong in April for the UCI World Cup opener in Lourdes, France, taking 2nd place.
Smith also earned an unmatched 10 Crankworx medals, the latest a 1st place finish at the Fox Air Downhill in Whistler last August, the first in the 2006 Jim Beam Air DH and Garbanzo Enduro Downhill Junior categories when he was only 15 years old.
"I'm still just like a little kid that wants to ride his bike... And when I get back on it, I want to go fast." -Smith during a 2014 Crankworx interview | Photo: Crankworx
While his life was cut tragically short, Smith was grateful for his accomplishments.
“The biggest change [I felt] was belief in myself… You set all these goals in your life, things you want to do,” he told Freehub magazine in an interview last year.
“People don’t always get what they want. At a young age I set my goals: ‘I want to race a World Cup one day,’ then ‘I want to podium.’ You never know if these things are going to happen. You know you put the work in. You know if you’re capable. But only a small percentage of riders can do it.”
Smith certainly was among that small percentage, and will be missed by those who knew him, raced alongside him, were priveleged enough to call him friend or simply watch him do what he loved.
Ride in Peace, Stevie.
A Celebration of Life will be held on May 21 at 1 p.m. at the Vancouver Island Convention Centre in Nanaimo, B.C. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the “Stevie Smith Legacy Fund” at www.gofundme.com/23k7fus. Funds will be earmarked for a Tiann Smith initiative, assisting talented young athletes.
-Sources: Crankworx, Freehub and Cycles Devinci