Scot Alexander Breithaupt, a man who is considered the “Godfather of BMX,” was found dead in a vacant lot in Indio, California, on Saturday. The cause of his death is undetermined by authorities at this time.
Scot Breithaupt helped transform BMX bike racing from a backyard game into a world-class international sport, winning several international competitions. After Scot retired from competing, he founded SE Racing, which created several novel bike frame designs. Breithaupt also started LM Productions, and produced racing and extreme-sport shows for networks like ESPN and Fox, according to USA Today.
Sergeant Dan Marshall of the Indio police confirmed it was Scot Breithaupt’s body, and that it was the same man associated with the sport, reports the Desert Sun.
“We believe that is the same person — that he is a founder of BMX. That is the same guy,” Marshall told reporters. Marshall continued that Breithaupt had been dead for an undetermined amount of time, and authorities were investigating the time and cause of death.
Scot Breithaupt was one of the first racers in what was then called motocross in the 1970s, and Breithaupt took the sport from an unknown game to international success. Scot went on to become one of the first famous faces of the sport, reports USA Today.
“Scot was one of the key figures in making [the industry] become what it is today. He would say he was the key figure, because that was the kind of guy he was,” said Craig Barrette, spokesman for USA BMX, according to USA Today. “He was involved in every aspect.” When the Hall of Fame learned about Scot Breithaupt’s death, they released a statement.
“As one of the sport’s first track operators and founder of SE Bikes — and so many other contributions to the sport of BMX, this is a huge loss… He was a founding track operator, a star racer since he was a teenager in Long Beach, a creator of a major bicycling company and major… promoter.”
After learning about Scot Breithaupt’s death, his friends and fans sent an outpouring of emotions over social media. One of the sports largest stars, Jamie Bestwick, a 13-time X Games BMX gold medalist, posted on Twitter and Facebook about Breithaupt.
“Sad to read about the passing of one of the all-time greats,” Bestwick wrote. “Scot Breithaupt thank you for your amazing contributions and dedication to BMX.” Another member of the Hall of Fame, Mike King, wrote on Twitter that it’s a “very sad day in the BMX world,” reports USA Today.
A shrine to Scot Breithaupt stands in the sport’s Hall of Fame, and his loss is felt throughout the industry.
[Image credit: Carl Court / Getty Images]