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Nanaimo bike park to honour late downhill champion

Nanaimo council has approved spending up to $200,000 on a community bike park to be named for Stevie Smith, the world downhill mountain-bike champion who died after a motorcycle accident in May.
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Canadian downhill mountain biker Steve Smith takes to the air during his qualification run during the UCI mountain bike world cup at Mont-Sainte-Anne in Beaupre, Que., in this July 31, 2015, file photo. The 26-year-old Smith, from Cassidy, B.C., died in May as a result of a massive brain injury suffered from a motorcycle crash near his home in Nanaimo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Nanaimo council has approved spending up to $200,000 on a community bike park to be named for Stevie Smith, the world downhill mountain-bike champion who died after a motorcycle accident in May.

Construction of the park has already started at Beban Park and is expected to be complete next year.

The Stevie Smith bike park will be an addition to an existing BMX park. It will include a dirt jump and return trail, pump track and skills park.

Several community groups, including the Gyro Club of Nanaimo and the Stevie Smith Legacy Foundation, have raised almost a quarter of a million dollars to help pay for the project.

Smith was 26 when he died. He was born in Cassidy and honed his skills on Mount Prevost near Duncan. He was nicknamed the “Canadian Chainsaw” because of his hell-bent, swashbuckling technique on the course.