PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Kevin ‘‘K-Rob’’ Robinson, a former professional BMX rider who set a world record for the longest power-assisted bicycle backflip, has died. He was 45.
His wife, Robin Adams Robinson, told The Providence Journal the Rhode Island native suffered an apparent stroke Saturday. She said his death was unexpected.
Kevin Robinson earned gold medals in the X Games and was famous for his high-flying jumps. He jumped 84 feet from one ramp to another in downtown Providence last year, setting a world record. He set a BMX high air world record in New York City’s Central Park in 2008.
Robinson retired from competition in 2013. Many BMX riders shared stories about him on social media.
Daniel Dhers thanked Robinson for ‘‘years of inspiration, mentoring, guidance and friendship.’’ Anthony Napolitan said Robinson was like a father to him.
‘‘He was the most positive person I ever knew and he didn’t deserve to be taken away so soon,’’ Napolitan said on Instagram.
Robinson, a native of East Providence, created the nonprofit K-Rob Foundation in 2010 to improve the lives of children in his hometown and surrounding communities. He built the first free public skate park in East Providence, which had been a lifelong dream.
Robinson often visited schools and businesses to talk about perseverance. He would talk about how it took 11 X Games appearances and three bronze medals before he finally had his dream season in 2006, taking home two gold medals from X Games 12.
Robinson also created a protective clothing line for children participating in action sports, Grindz. He lived in Barrington with his wife and three children.