JOLENE VAN VUGT
JOLENE VAN VUGT
At the young age of 31 Jolene Van Vugt has established herself as one of the most accomplished female athletes in action sports today. Her incredible and ongoing lists of accomplishments include becoming the first CMRC Women’s Canadian Motocross National Champion, first female to backflip a full-sized dirt bike, holder of multiple Guinness World Records, and co-star of many motocross/stunt videos.
Jolene Joanna Van Vugt was born in London, Ontario Canada in 1980 to Dutch immigrant parents Bill and Tina. Youngest to sister Michelle and brother Billy, she grew up heavily influenced by her Father Bill, a young at heart avid motocross racer. As well as older brother Billy, who followed fast in Bill Sr.’s footsteps.
It wasn’t until the age of 11 that Jolene finally convinced her dad to buy her a bike (after much debate about her commitment to her ever-changing hobbies). At the age of 14 Jolene was given the ultimatum to either practice, race and take motocross seriously or give it up for good. With little thought the path she chose would define the rest of her life.
Jolene’s talent soon became apparent as she quickly rose to the top ranks of Canadian women’s motocross. Earning multiple Ontario Provincial Championships, a 9th place overall in the WMA (Women’s Motocross Association), earning her lifetime number 63. She also competed in many prestige’s motocross events, such as The Loretta Lynn’s Amateur National and The Walton Trans Can Canadian Amateur National.
In 2006 Jolene would have a large part in creating the Canadian Women’s National Championship’s, a coast-to-coast national series that would mirror the opportunities of the WMA in the U.S. She would commemorate the event by winning the series and becoming the first Canadian Women’s National Champion.
2006 would be a landmark year in Jolene’s life. Not only for her racing efforts but also for her accomplishment of being the first female to backflip a full-sized dirt bike over 60 ft ramp to dirt. With guidance and lessons from her friend Travis Pastrana she had learned the backflip a year before, first on a smaller 110cc play bike, than a month latter on her RM125.
The milestone backflips and other stunts performed at the Pastrana compound would be featured in the popular Nitro Circus video series, and open many doors for the young talent. Such as being the first female to take part in the Masters Of Dirt Freestyle Show in Austria, and be featured in the MTV television show Nitro Circus.
Jolene is easily recognizable by her large smile, colorful personality and cheerfully positive outlook on life. While many of her peers have chosen a more straightforward, safe and comfortable approach to life. Jolene continues to sacrifice many things to travel the world and make a living riding her dirt bike.