Who Is Vicki Golden?
Vicki Golden is a professional freestyle motocross rider, four-time X Games gold medalist and the first female member of the SoCal freestyle motocross team Metal Mulisha. She also performs in Travis Pastrana’s Nitro Circus Tour.
Born on July 28, 1992, Golden grew up in El Cajon, a town just east of San Diego, California. Imitating her older brother’s obsession for dirt bike riding, Golden began biking at age seven. Seeing her potential, her parents surprised her with a Honda XR50 and got her private lessons with a trainer, who exposed her to San Diego’s tough, hilly terrain.
“I about peed myself almost every time,” Golden recalled. “It was a gnarly experience, but that’s what made me such a good rider. We didn’t have well-groomed, brand-new prepped tracks. We had the hills.”
At age 12, Golden’s father got into a horrible racing accident involving an ATV, which left him almost entirely paralyzed. Still, he and Golden’s mother encouraged her to keep working on her passion, and she began racing as an amateur on the national level, turning pro by 17.
Major Injury to Her Right Heel
While Golden has been used to dealing with injuries throughout her career, she experienced one of her biggest setbacks in January 2018 at an international motorcycle freestyle show. The result: her right heel shattered in multiple pieces and was just shy of being amputated.
“At one of the venues I had to ride on polished concrete, which isn’t good for traction. In those instances, I put down Coke syrup… for whatever reason, it provides really good traction,” she explained about the traumatic incident. “I turned to hit the ramp, and when I gassed the throttle, my rear tire didn’t get any traction. I fell 40 feet in the air straight to concrete. The first thought that went through my mind when I landed on the concrete was that both of my legs were broken. I knew that my right leg was in really bad shape.”
Thankfully, it was only Golden’s right leg that incurred serious injuries (her left ended up being badly bruised). After seven surgeries and nine months of difficult rehabilitation, Golden was inspired to return to the sport that she loved, thanks in part to her fans, who reached out to her on social media.
“Looking back at my crash, I was sitting there in the hospital, and fans would send me messages or leave comments,” she said. “My fans helped me through a dark period in my life. To this day, I still have people hitting me up on social media and telling me about their injuries. They tell me that I have inspired them to work hard in order to get back on a motorcycle. Reading those messages verifies that what I’m doing by riding again is the right decision.”
Professional Highlights & Stats
Among her many awards and achievements, Golden, at age 16, became the Loretta Lynn’s AMA Women’s Amateur Champion in 2008. Three years later, she earned her first gold medal at the Women’s Moto X Racing in the Summer X Games and collecting her second and third gold medals in 2012.
In addition to becoming the first female competitor in a Moto X freestyle competition, (which resulted in a bronze medal win in the best whip category in 2012), Golden was nominated for the ESPY’s Best Female Action Sports Athlete award in 2014.
Golden rides a Suzuki 450/250 bike.
2019 Backflip in Auckland
In March 2019, Golden wowed audiences in Auckland, New Zealand when she landed her first ever FMX backflip off the 15-foot Next Level ramp, ranking her as the only woman who has flipped one of the largest FMX ramps in the world.
‘Evel Live 2’ on HISTORY
Golden performed a record-breaking stunt on HISTORY’s Evel Live 2 special on Sunday, July 7, 2019 after she sped through a series of flaming wooden boards. She was the first female to break the record which was set back in 2006. The motorcycle that powered Golden through the flames was the Indian FTR1200 S with a 1203cc V-Twin engine, 120 horsepower and 87 ft-lbs of low-end torque.