Legend Motocross Racer Doug Henry Still Riding Despite His Injury

Doug Henry was born September 6, 1969 in Milford, Connecticut and grew up to be a multi-time AMA championship-winning motocross racer. Doug is a fan-favorite in the sport for his guts and determination, as well as his never-say-die attitude while making comebacks from potentially career ending injuries.

He had his first major success in 1993 as a member of Team Honda, where he claimed the 125 East Supercross and the 125 National Championship. In 1994, he repeated as champion in the nationals, beating riders such as Steve Lamson and Ryan Hughes while battling a severe stomach ailment. He later appeared on Fox's first motocross movie Terrafirma. He moved to the premier 250cc division for 1995, where he was immediately competitive, winning Supercross mains and outdoor overalls, before a devastating injury at Budds Creek, MD ended his season. Henry was slipping off the back of the bike on the face of a hill, inadvertently applying full throttle, launching him off the hill, causing him to fall from nearly 80 feet in the air to flat ground. Henry's back was broken, but miraculously he suffered no paralysis.

Henry would race the production version of the prototype four-stroke, the YZ400F, for 1998. This is the machine that started the four-stroke revolution in motocross.

He battled through a strong but unspectacular supercross season where he finished 7th overall. The outdoor season would be Henry's chance to show the bike's true capabilities. After a win at his home track of Southwick, Henry followed up with a triumphant win in Budds Creek, the track where he broke his arms and back. He would go on to defeat Jeff Emig, Jeremy McGrath, Ezra Lusk, Kevin Windham, Mickael Pichon, and Greg Albertyn, earning five overall wins in one of the most competitive seasons ever to take the 1998 250cc National Championship at Broome Tioga Sports Center. He accomplished this with one whole round left.

Having accomplished all his goals, Henry scaled back to a partial schedule for 1999, where he dabbled in snocross for the winter. He returned to the nationals in a farewell tour wearing his #1 plate. He started slowly after taking the winter off, but still managed to score overall wins by mid-season.

Henry retired from off-road racing in '99 and took up supermoto in 2003,
winning an ESPN X-Games Gold Medal in '05. But during an amateur supermoto event in Florida in '07, Henry crashed and was hit by another competitor, breaking his back again. This injury was more severe, however, and he remains paralyzed from the waist down.

Henry, of course, isn't one to take this latest injury sitting down. Unable to walk, he's nonetheless taken to two wheels again. With support from HEAL (Helping Extreme Athletes Live), Henry reconfigured his Yamaha WR450 for feet-free operation with bar-mounted paddle shifters, a Rekluse automatic clutch and a rear brake lever relocated to where the clutch lever once resided. A custom roll cage surrounds him in the event of a crash. He's reportedly already showing A-class speed, clearing triple-jumps that challenge even able-bodied riders.

Henry's return to riding is testament to the dogged determination that made him one of the toughest motorcycle racers ever. He still hasn't given up hope of recovery, making him a true inspiration not just to those who have suffered similar injuries, but to any rider.

He continues to not only ride his motocross bike, but he also rides his adaptive snowmobile in the winter months. He has also entered races, events, and competitions since his SCI including go back too and competing at the X Games again in the Adaptive classes. His most recent competition was at X Games in Aspen in January of 2013 where he raced in the snocross adaptive class. It was a close race with Doug Henry leading in first place most of the race. Just less then half a lap to go Henry was passed by a rider with an amputee and placed second in the race.

Click here for more information and video on Winter X Games 2013 Adaptive Snocross Racing Event.