Mays Landing native and freestyle motocross star Ronnie Faisst hopes to grab something today that just barely eluded him at the last two Summer X Games - a silver or gold medal.
Faisst, a 1993 graduate of Oakcrest High School, is happy with the bronze medals he won the last two years but is ready to do even better. He will compete today in the Moto X Speed & Style final. ESPN will televise the competition during its 9 p.m.-midnight coverage.
"I am going to have to (lay) down some solid laps and nail down some tricks," Faisst said Tuesday by telephone. "Nothing new as far as tricks, but I've been spending a lot of time training. It helps to be the fastest guy out there."
He's been pursuing that quest for most of his life. By age 10, Faisst said, he already had it "in (his) mind" that he was going to ride motocross for the "rest of (his) life." He moved to Southern California at age 20 to pursue that passion.
Faisst has been riding for 26 years and has had numerous injuries, including broken wrists (multiple times and both at the same time), feet, ankles and ribs, and has separated both shoulders.
None of that has diminished his determination.
"I've actually been more focused the older I've gotten," Faisst said. "I train harder now than when I was younger."
Faisst said he still loves returning to New Jersey during the winter but that his heart is in California.
"Growing up, I always wanted to move to California," he said. "There are way more people into the
X Games and FMX scene than back in Jersey."
But Faisst returns to New Jersey for an annual hunting trip with his family, and he loves hitting the shore towns for some good Italian food.
In 2008, Faisst formed a Christian group with Ryan Ries, Lacey Mosley of the alternative rock band Flyleaf, Sonny Sandoval of the band P.O.D., and Brian "Head" Welch, formerly of Korn, called The Whosoevers. The group will share its message to anyone willing to listen.
"We are trying to reach our generation of fans," Faisst explained. "God brought us together. We speak at churches, street parks, or on the beach and we share our message. Wherever God leads us, we go."
Faisst also has been part of the Nuclear Cowboyz FMX tour, which showcases intense aerial stunts, for the last three years and says he has participated in every major FMX tour or event of the last 15.
Faisst's family has been supportive since he rode his first motorcycle. His cousin Caren Faisst, 36, of Mays Landing, couldn't travel to see him at this year's Summer X Games, which began Thursday and end Sunday, but she attends whenever he competes on the East Coast.
"The last time I watched him, I dont know why, but I started crying." she said Tuesday. "I was just so proud of him. He is literally living his dream and it just hit me. He has worked so hard for it. He has earned this."
Ronnie Faisst, along with a successful FMX career, also has his own video game and clothing line.
"It's amazing to watch him do what he loves," Caren Faisst said.
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