By: Matthew Foster
Ashley Fiolek was born October, 22, 1990 in Dearborn Michigan.
In 1998, when she was 8 years old, her family moved to St.
Augustine Florida so Ashley could attend the “Florida School for the
Deaf and Blind” (FSDB) -- at the time the largest school of this
type (ESPN, 2013). At FSDB Ashley studied ballet, played
basketball and ran track. After she completed the 8th grade her
parents decided to homeschool Ashley.
Early on in her life she was around the motocross atmosphere.
When she was very young she used to ride on the front of her mom’s
four-wheeler or her dad's bike. At the age of three her parents
bought her a Yamaha PW50, a very basic beginner’s bike suitable for
young children. She did not ride the bike very often, as she would
have trouble riding it with the training wheels, and she preferred
to ride with her parents.
Ashley began her racing career at age 7, which was when she first
entered the amateur racing circuit. In 2008 at the age of 18 she
made her pro debut in the AMA/WMA (American Motocross
Association/Women’s Motocross Association). Not only was this
her rookie season, but she won the title that year. Even
fracturing her wrist mid-season didn’t slow her down -- she won 4 of
the 6 events she raced in that season. Ashley also went on to win
the next season in 2009, then again a few years later in 2011. In
2009, and 2010 she also won the gold medal at the XGames -- a very
prestigious motor sports competition with some of the best motocross
riders in the world. Currently Ashley is working on becoming
an actress as well as her fourth WMA title.
Ashley has dominated a sport in which sound and the ability to hear
the bike -- so that you know when to shift --
What is amazing is that Ashley was born deaf.
Being deaf means that Ashley has had to rely on the vibrations and
her feel for the bike so she knows when to shift. In an interview
with About.com, she was asked if the issue of her deafness has ever
come up with other racers. She responded that it has never came up
among other racers, but it definitely comes with its disadvantages.
She has to memorize her lines very well since she cannot hear the
other drivers -- but at the same time it makes it nice not to hear
them because then she doesn’t feel any pressure when she’s out
front. No one has ever said anything and she has never caused a
wreck. She would also eventually like to be one of the first girls
to qualify for the "Boys National" (About, 2013).
Ashleyfiolek.com. Redbull, 2013. Web. 22 Mar. 2013.
ESPN. "Ashley Fiolek Profile." ESPN.com. ESPN, 2013. Web. 22 Mar.
Wasef, Baseem. "Exclusive Q & A with Honda Red Bull Team Member
Ashley Fiolek." About.com Motorcycles. About.com, 2013. Web. 22 Mar.
Jason, Gay. "Ashley Fiolek: Hear Me Roar." Vogue.com. Vogue, 02 Apr.
2012. Web. 22 Mar. 2013
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