Where Are They Now: Jimmy ButtonFriday, December 1, 2006 | 10:20 AM
As a roommate of Jeremy McGrath’s, Jimmy would appear in the epic motocross video Steel Roots, where he would pull huge can-cans, which at the time were pretty burly. Jimmy really became popular in the motocross industry, appearing in ads for Spy Optics and even playing a small part in the ill-fated Frezno Smooth. Jimmy was making the most out of this fun-loving era in our sport, and he was definitely one of “the boys.” Meanwhile, he was riding strong on the track.
Jimmy had finally reached the top of AMA pro racing when disaster struck.
At the 2000 supercross awards banquet, he received a standing ovation as he walked, with the help of his trainer Cory Worf, up to the speaker’s stand, just five months removed from almost total paralysis.
The months to come would see Jimmy continue outpatient rehab, where he would begin the painful effort to regain movement in his extremities. At this time he came to a realization that his job as a factory motocross racer was over and he needed to begin looking for a means of income very quickly. Thankfully, a position at Bell helmets opened up and Jimmy found himself gainfully employed within the industry, handling all of the rider contracts with Bell and Bieffe road racing.
“Even if I wouldn’t have gotten hurt, my career would have been over by now,” Button says. “I can honestly say that I would probably be doing exactly what I’m doing right now, even if I had rode out the last remaining years of my career. Things are pretty good, and I feel fortunate that things worked out the way they did.”
Button deserves his place among the upper echelons of motocross racers. He won at every level and has always been regarded as one of the coolest guys you will ever meet at the races, and he has always been very approachable. Today, “Button Fly” remains a consummate student and fan of the sport he has loved since he has been able to walk - both times.
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