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James Chippendale, NBCDFW
Freestyle motocross star Carey Hart talks about life, love and what he's been up to.
Before the tattoo stores, the clothing line and the rock-star wife, Carey Hart made a big name for himself in the world of freestyle motocross.
"I was that little grimy kid out in the parking lot," said Hart. "You know, I was the little kid with the long hair, dirty jeans."
Hart was born in 1975. He and his brother were raised by their father in Las Vegas after their parents divorced. He first started competing in motocross when he was just six years old.
"I grew up a broke construction workers kid. I didn't grow up with a silver spoon. I grew up in Vegas, single dad," said Hart. "Like I said, he was a construction worker and every spare dollar went into me, at that time racing and me trying to get to that level of making a living racing."
He turned professional when he was 18 and started competing in freestyle motocoss in the mid 1990's.
"My first big freestyle gig, freestyle motocross on an event level was done around the Warped tour," said Hart. "We were in tour buses and riding freestyle every day to a bunch of maniac punk rock kids and listening to the bands.
He is best know for a motocross trick known as the 'Hart Attack' which involved a back flip on a 250cc motorcycle."My passion is still riding, I'm trying to focus on riding right now," said Hart.
Although his heart belongs to motocross, over the years, he has transitioned into quite a businessman. He owns a string of tattoo parlors, 'Hart and Huntingon' made famous by the reality show 'Inked.' He has a clothing line by the same name carried by Journeys stores. He owns a couple of nightclubs and perhaps closest to his heart is his own motocross team.
"I'm definitely a workhorse. And I like to be able take advantage of every opportunity that comes my way. It really is hard to say no. Over the last few years I've got a lot on my plate, and I've kind of had to focus on priorities and keeping riding as a priority," said Hart. "It's a tough balance. I can't say I've got it figured out. It's a tough juggle but my main priorities are spending time with my wife and working hard and riding hard."
Hart is probably just as well known for his tattoos as motocross and his body has become a canvas. One of his tattoos honors his brother Anthony killed during practice at a Connecticut racetrack in 2008.
"The one on my neck is for my brother that passed away, two years ago," said Hart. "A lot is family related. Me and my wife have a few matching tattoos."
You can't talk about Hart without mentioning his rock-star wife, Pink -- or Alecia as he calls her. The couple got married in Costa Rica after Pink proposed to him during a motocross race. The pair split in 2008 but have since reconciled. They seem like they can't get enough of each other and often spend a lot of time touring on the road together.
"This year with our supercross team, I had to go to 6 or 7 supercrosses. So it's great, I got to bring my wife to all of the races," said Hart. "She kinda got to see from my perspective as a team owner. And as an athlete to go to all the supercrosses, where it is fun but it's also stressful. But she gets to come along and spend time with me - much how I go out on tour with her."
Hart gives a lot of credit to the sport that gave him his big start. "I think as long as these kids are out here and they put their heart into whatever they are into doing, you know and sports can be a segway to anything," said Hart.