Before he was ever the entertaining host of MTV’s The Challenge, TJ Lavin was a superstar in the world of BMX, where he competed in many major events, including the X Games, and won gold.
As his career nearly came to a horrific end in 2010, TJ made a triumphant return to his hosting job, providing a memorable moment on The Challenge.
Just recently, USA BMX announced TJ will be joining the BMX Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2022 with several other stars from the world of BMX.
TJ among 6 individuals in BMX Hall of Fame class
On Wednesday, December 29, the USA BMX Instagram page revealed their Class of 2022 for the National BMX Hall of Fame.
TJ Lavin, host of MTV’s The Challenge and Paramount Plus’ The Challenge: All Stars, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame for BMX Freestyle. He’s joined by Andy Patterson, Randy Stumpfhauser, Steve Van Doren, Tara Llanes, and Kevin Jones.
Each of the inductees is going into the BMX Hall of Fame for a different aspect of the sport, including Early Racer, Industry, and Early Freestyle.
According to the Instagram post, TJ and the rest of the Class of 2022 will officially be inducted into the new BMX Hall of Fame building in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Per a KRJH report earlier this year, the BMX HOF was under construction and expected to be built by the end of 2021.
TJ officially pursued BMX racing early in life, eventually transitioning to dirt jumping. By the age of 19, he began to compete professionally. That would include multiple appearances in the X Games, where TJ won gold three times, in addition to silver and several bronzes.
During his career, some of TJ’s sponsors have included S&M Bikes, Headrush, Monster Energy Drink, Lavs Lab, and Kicker.
TJ became synonymous with the sport he loved. A video game was created based on his excellence in the sport called MTV Sports: T. J. Lavin’s Ultimate BMX. His passion for the sport also led to him getting a dirt track made in his backyard.
Viewers saw the impressive backyard dirtbike course in an episode of MTV Cribs shown on MTV after an episode of The Challenge.
TJ reacts to BMX Hall of Fame news
TJ was grateful for receiving the honor and mentioned it on his Instagram Story Wednesday evening.
“Honored thank you guys. Congrats to the others too!!!” TJ wrote on a slide showing a poster for the BMX Hall of Fame Class of 2022.
TJ has been hosting MTV’s The Challenge since the 11th season, The Gauntlet 2, in 2005. In addition to hosting the regular season on MTV, he’s also hosted spinoffs, including The Challenge: All Stars on Paramount Plus.
TJ had emotional return to The Challenge after 2010 crash
In October 2010, a scary moment occurred for The Challenge host and BMX star as he was involved in a horrific crash performing a stunt at a Dew Tour event in Las Vegas. TJ was rushed to the hospital and placed in a medically induced coma due to his life-threatening injuries. While in the hospital, he also developed pneumonia.
It was a major relief for TJ’s family, friends, fans, and Challenge cast members when it was revealed he was breathing on his own six days later and expected to make a full recovery.
He would later return to his hosting duties in an emotional moment to kick off The Challenge: Rivals season, which aired on MTV in 2011.
A cast of heated rivals assembled on location in the premiere episode and waited for a host to show up.
“Usually coming into these Challenges, TJ’s always a shoo-in for the host, but he had a tragic accident recently,” Real World star Johnny Bananas said in a confessional.
“TJ took a jump at the Pro Dew Tour, and he fell on his head, and his brain started to swell,” Laurel Stuckey said in her confessional.
“Nobody really knows what his recovery process has come to at this point, and I’m just fingers crossed that TJ comes walking towards us,” Paula Meronek said.
That’s exactly what happened as teary-eyed and smiling cast members gave TJ a warm round of applause and cheered for him when he arrived as the season’s host.
“Thank you guys so much. It really means a lot to me. I got everybody’s emails, and letters and I’ll never forget it,” he told the assembled cast.
A TJ Lavin Road to Recovery Video feature was released on YouTube in 2011 from Dew Tour (below).
Viewers saw TJ recently host Season 37 of MTV’s The Challenge, Spies, Lies & Allies, which wrapped up with the season reunion on Wednesday, December 22. He’s currently seen hosting The Challenge: All Stars 2 on Paramount Plus.
The Challenge is currently on hiatus and expected to return to MTV in 2022. The Challenge: All Stars 2 episodes arrive Thursdays on Paramount Plus.