Motocross athlete and business owner
Born July 17, 1975, in Las Vegas, NV; son of Tom Hart (a construction company owner); married Pink (aka Alecia Moore; a singer), January 7, 2006.
Addresses: Office—Hart & Huntington Tattoo Company, Palms Casino, 4321 W. Flamingo Rd., Las Vegas, NV 89103.
Began competing in motocross races, 1981; turned professional, c. 1993; competed in supercross races, c. 1993-96; began competing in freestyle motocross, c. 1996; completed first "Hart Breaker" at the Gravity Games, 2000; played bass with band Pennywise during the Warped Tour, 2001; won silver in the Big Air Discipline of Motocross, Summer X Games, 2002; won gold medal at the Australian X Games, 2002; opened Hart & Huntington Tattoo Company, Las Vegas, NV, 2004; appeared on reality show The Surreal Life, VH1, 2005; starred on reality show Inked, A&E, 2005—. Film appearances include: Crusty Demons of Dirt, Vol. 3, 2001; Ultimate X: The Movie, 2002; xXx, 2002; Flipped Out, 2003; Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, 2003.
Though Carey Hart's career began as a motocross racer, a 2004 injury led him to expand his activities. He owns a tattoo parlor in his home town of Las Vegas, Nevada, and had featured roles in two reality shows in 2005. Hart also married long-time, on-again, off-again girlfriend, pop singer Pink, in early 2006, as he prepared to return to his sport. Hart had been an freestyle motocross athlete of note as the inventor of a trick known as the "Hart Breaker"—a back flip on a 250cc (full-sized) motorcycle. He also invented the "Hart Attack"—a hand-stand on the motorcycle done in midair. Hart has broken at least 20 bones throughout his years as a motocross athlete. He told Scott Hoffman of Dirt Rider, "Every time I ride I get scared. Every time I hit a jump the first time I'm scared. Fear is definitely what keeps me doing it but it also slows me down."
Hart was born in 1975 in Las Vegas, where he was raised by his single father, Tom Hart, who owned a construction company, for much of his life. His parents divorced when he was young. Hart was given his first motocross bike when he was only four years old, a present from his father who rode motorcycles for fun. As Hart began riding dirt bikes, he also began competing in local races. When he was 18 years old, Hart turned pro as a motocross rider. He competed in supercross racing (motorcycle racing) for a significant amount of time, but did not find the experience satisfying. Hart told Hoffman of Dirt Rider, "I rode supercross for three seasons and really wasn't getting a whole lot out of racing. I did pretty decent my last season riding but nobody wanted to give me any help, so it was either change things up or quit altogether."
Since racing motorcycles to win was not enough for him, Hart decided to try something different. When he was 23 years old, Hart changed his focus to become a freestyle motocross rider, an emerging sport in which tricks and jumps are done on a motocross bike over a course in an allotted amount of time, usually two or three minutes. The dirt course has ramps and jumps, and is usually 275 feet by 185 feet. Judges award points for what the athletes accomplish on the course in competitions.
Within a short amount of time, Hart became the recognized leader of freestyle motocross. He first showed off moves on the Warped Tour—a summer touring extravaganza focusing on music and alternative entertainment—which led to the expansion of the sport and Hart's career in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Hart soon had sponsors and was earning hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in endorsements. Hart also competed in the premier sporting events like the Gravity Games and the X Games which featured freestyle motocross events. One significant moment came in the 2000 Gravity Games, held in Providence, Rhode Island. Hart made history when he became the first rider to complete a back flip on a full-sized motocross motorcycle in competition, the so-called "Hart Breaker." Hart had tried it at the 2000 X Games, but failed in that attempt. Completing the Hart Breaker made Hart a world-wide star and household name, but also left him in pain; Hart had compressed vertebra in his back and pulled ligaments. These injuries were caused by the fact that he landed on his back quite hard when he completed the move for the first time in competition. Hart told Stephen Sherill of the New York Times, "I was just ecstatic that I didn't kill myself."
When Hart tried to pull off the Hart Breaker again at the 2001 X Games, he was unable to complete the maneuver because he lost control of his bike. The attempt left Carey with broken foot bones, broken ribs, and a tailbone that was bruised. While recovering from these injuries, he found other activities to fill the time. During the Warped Tour in 2001, for example, he played bass with Pennywise, a band that performed during part of the tour. Returning to competition in 2002, he finished second in the Big Air Discipline of Motocross at the Summer X Games, where he completed a Hart Breaker. That year, he won a gold medal at the Australian X Games as well.
In the early 2000s, Hart also began appearing in videos and films. Most of his filmed appearances were on freestyle motocross tapes like Crusty Demons of Dirt, Vol. 3 in 2001, Ultimate X: The Movie in 2002, and Flipped Out in 2003. Hart filmed a music video with Kid Rock in 2002, the same year he moved into feature films with a cameo in the action film xXx. Hart also appeared as himself in 2003's Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, the sequel to the hit movie.
After sustaining injuries which required extensive rest in 2004, Hart again found non-motocross activities to fill his time. In 2005, he joined the cast of season five of the VH1 reality show, The Surreal Life. The show mixes a variety of has-been and minor celebrities together in a house in Los Angeles. They are taped while completing tasks which sometimes highlight tensions between them. Hart shared the home with actor Bronson Pinchot, former super-model Janice Dickinson, Apprentice competitor Oma-rosa Manigault Stallworth, and disgraced baseball player Jose Conseco. Hart was considered relatively normal on the show.
That same year, Hart was part of another reality show called Inked which aired on A&E. This show centered on the tattoo parlor Hart opened with nightclub promoter John Huntington in 2004, Hart & Huntington Tattoo Company in the Palms Casino in Las Vegas. Inked featured Hart dealing with his staff and clients, including his co-owner Thomas Pendleton, a tattoo artist. Hart was covered in tattoos himself, having gotten his first tattoo at the age of 17.
During his time off, Hart also married his girlfriend of several years, Pink, whom he met at the 2001 X Games. They were wed early in 2006 in an elaborate wedding in Costa Rica. He also prepared to return to competition with new sponsors like Jones Soda. Damage to his body was not going to prevent Hart from pursuing his sport. He told Bob Leddy of the Providence Journal-Bulletin, "There's no way an injury's going to keep me from doing it [competing]. I've got to stick with it. It's something you've got to deal with. You put it aside and go for it."
Chicago Sun-Times, December 18, 2002, p. 149.
Dirt Rider, September 2000, p. 88; October 2000, p. 18.
Las Vegas Review-Journal (Las Vegas, NV), November 10, 2000, p. 8C.
New York Times, April 8, 2001, sec. 6, p. 76.
People, November 28, 2005, p. 198; January 23, 2006, p. 78.
Providence Journal-Bulletin (Providence, RI), August 27, 1999, p. 4D.
Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO), November 7, 2002, p. 4D.
"Carey Hart Chat Transcript, " EXPN.com, http:// expn.go.com/xgames/sxg/viii/s/020808_ hartchat.html (May 1, 2006).
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"Carey Hart, " Jones Soda Co., http://www. jonessoda.com/files_new/carey_hart.html (May 2, 2006).
"Inked: About the Show, " A&E TV, http://www. aetv.com/inked/inked_about.jsp (May 2, 2006).
"Inked: Carey Hart, " A&E TV, http://www.aetv. com/inked/inked_cast_and_crew.jsp?index= 0&type=actor (May 2, 2006).
"Motocross: Carey Hart, " Kidzworld.com, http:// www.kidzworld.com/site/p2319.htm (May 1, 2006).
"The Surreal Life 5: Characters, " VH1.com, http:// www.vh1.com/shows/dyn/the_surreal_life_5/ series_characters.jhtml (May 1, 2006).