Ashley Fiolek

Ashley Fiolek is a retired, profoundly deaf professional motocross racer. Racing with number plates 67 and 1, she won the Women's Motocross(WMX) Championship in 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2012. Fiolek was born in Dearborn, Michigan, and has been deaf since birth. In August 1998, the Fiolek family moved to St. Augustine, Florida, so Ashley could attend the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind, the largest school of this type in the United States. At the school, she studied ballet, ran track, and played basketball. When Fiolek finished eighth grade, her parents decided to begin homeschooling her. As a child, her family often went to her grandfather's cabin in Wolverine, Michigan, and rode through the woods for hours. Around the age of three, Fiolek's parents gave her a Yamaha PW50, a bike suitable for very young riders. She rode that for several years, with training wheels, accompanied by her parents.

Fiolek began racing at age seven. She was the 2008 WMX Pro National champion after her first professional win at the WMA Pro National Hangtown. She also won many races in the 2009 season, including Moto 1 at Hangtown and both motos at Glen Helen. She repeated as 2009 WMX Pro National Champion by finishing seventh at Steel City Raceway in Delmont, Pennsylvania, on September 5, 2009. She finished this race in pain with a collarbone fracture due to a spill during the race. She won the WMX Pro Nationals again in 2011. In 2012, she crashed and suffered a concussion and fractured tailbone. She was DNS (Did Not Start) at High Point Raceway, Mount Morris, Pennsylvania. After almost a month off between races and time to heal, she returned to racing at RedBud MX in Buchanan, Michigan, where she started her run for her next title. She took the overall in that and the following two races in Washougal, Washington, and Southwick, Massachusetts. She took the 2012 WMX Pro National Championship at Lake Elsinore, California.

In 2008 she was the first female motocross racer to make the cover of TransWorld Motocrossmagazine. In 2009 she became the first female to be signed to the American Honda Racing factory team and was nominated for an ESPN ESPY Award. In 2010 Fiolek published her autobiography, Kicking Up Dirt,[9] co-written with Caroline Ryder. In 2011 Fiolek and her motocross riding were featured in a commercial for Red Bull. She was the sixth athlete sponsored by Red Bull to appear in a commercial for the energy drink. In 2012 she was featured in an issue of Vogue magazine and presented a TEDx Talk.

In 2010 Fiolek met Noora Moghaddas, a top motocross competitor in the Middle East, and the two women bonded while riding and sharing similar goals to improve conditions for women and girls in their respective countries. Fiolek said, "Noora continues in her quest to help Iranian women learn how to ride, race and become stronger. I hope to be a part of that important mission with her, so that we can both share our love of motocross with people in other countries! It is great to know our world is really not that big. Even with different languages and cultures, we can all come together and share something we feel passionate about."

In July 2014, she began work as a motorcycle stunt performer for a touring Marvel Universe Live show.

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