‘Gymkhana’ Creator Was 55 – Deadline
Ken Block, a motorsport legend who created the viral Gymkhana YouTube video series, has died aged 55 following a snowmobile accident.
Block’s clothing company Hoonigan Industries confirmed the news on Instagram following reports, stating: “Ken was a visionary, a pioneer and an icon. And most importantly, a father and husband. He will be incredibly missed.”
Block was in Utah when he died. He was riding a snowmobile up a steep slope in Wasatch County when the vehicle upended, landing on top of him, according to the local Sheriff’s office, which wrote the news on Facebook and said he was pronounced dead at the scene from injuries sustained.
Born in the U.S. in 1967, Block broke through in the motorsport world in 2005, beginning his rallying career with the Vermont SportsCar team as he won Rookie of the Year.
He went on to win a number of rallycross medals at the X Games over the years while achieving worldwide fame via the Gymkhana YouTube series, which attracted millions of viewers as Block performed daring racing feats.
The series spawned an Amazon Prime Video eight-parter titled The Gymkhana Files, which took a behind the scenes look at the struggles and personalities that went into making one of the biggest viral campaigns of all time. Block also appeared on the BBC’s Top Gear and in EA racing games, along with featuring opposite Idris Elba in short-lived streamer Quibi’s Elba vs, Block competition format.
He is also the founder of Hoonigan Industries and skate-wear clothing brand DC Shoes.
Tributes came pouring in from the racing world, with the FIA World Rallycross Championship saying his passing “leaves a huge hole in our sport,” Moto GP hailing “his legacy in motorsport,” which will “live on forever,” and world champion Jenson Button calling him “a talent that did so much.”
Block is survived by his wife Lucy and three children.
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