Q&A: Jolene Van Vugt
The star of MTV's Nitro Circus and pro motocross rider discusses riding dating and MX vs ATV Reflex
Jolene Van Vugt who has been competing on the motocross circuit since she was 1,5 but you may know her best as a regular on MTV's Nitro Circus. In 2005, she became the first female to backflip a full-sized dirt bike ramp to dirt, which she performed on the show. The move catapulted her to stardom. Van Vugt is currently the spokesperson on behalf of the new MX vs. ATV Reflex video game that hits stores earlier this month. SI.com's Andy Gray caught up with Von Vugt to discuss her rise to stardom and other topics:
SI: How did you get involved in the game?
JVU: I was approached by THQ to be a part of the new game, through my exposure in Women's Motocross and Nitro Circus they thought I would be a good addition, I appear as a "pro" challenger adding in a new element, a female rider. I'm also a spokesperson for Reflex, explaining how the new features work in on-line tutorials.
SI: Have you been playing video games your whole life or did this game get you hooked?
JVU: This is definitely the best Moto game out there, so it's exciting to play. I have always favored the MX, skate and snowboard video games.
SI: You are the first female to backflip a full-sized dirt bike ramp to dirt. Tell me about that experience. Is it your proudest achievement? Have any women come up to you and acknowledged this?
JVU: The backflip is definitely one on the top, of my list of achievements. Once I got a taste of it on the little 110, I knew I wanted to be the girl to landed it on a full-sized bike. For me the backflip was something that set me down a different path in life, I was introduced to Nitro Circus and it all snow balled from there. Many people, man, women and children throughout the years have acknowledged the different things I have done and been apart of, they are all support and kind, it is very flattering.
SI: What athletes outside your sport do you admire?
JVU: I think Danica Patrick is pretty rad! She is a great example for a women in a man's sport, she holds her own with the guys while still looking professional and sexy along the way.
SI: What's it like in a sport that is primarily male? Do you consider yourself a sex symbol? Do you get hit on and/or date any of the other racers?
JVU: It's a challenge but if you love what you do and you are up for the challenge, the ride and the rewards, are all definitely worth the hard work and years! I like to be sexy and feminine, as do most girls. A sex symbol thought, I have to say that's in the eye of the beholder. I have a boyfriend back home in Canada, but that doesn't mean guys don't try!
SI: You're from Canada -- why not hockey?
JVU: I played hockey for 10 years and loved it, but eventually you have to pick one. I stuck with racing.
SI: What do you do to relax (besides play video games)?
JVU: I love to go home, have a home cooked meal and be with my family. Visiting friends and my boyfriend are things that clam and relax me.
SI: If you could go to a desert island with one movie, one TV show and one music album, what would they be?
JVU: Movie: Days of Thunder. For a TV show, right now I'm really into Bones. My favorite album is Social Distortion's Sex, Love And Rock N' Roll.
SI: Talk about Nitro Circus. Is it what you expected? What's it like with those guys? Do you see yourself doing more TV besides Nitro Circus?
JVU: Nitro has taken me to places and experience I never even dreamed of, so it has gone above and beyond any expectations I ever had. The whole crew is like a family, I have many brothers with-in these boys and we all take care of each other. I would be open for any new door that may open along the way, that's how I got here, being open to change and new opportunities.
MX vs. ATV Reflex is available at stores for Xbox 360, PSP, and PlayStation 3.