In a sport dominated by sound, Women's Motocross Association Champion Ashley Fiolek, profoundly deaf since birth, is just starting to make some noise. Ashley, now 18, dethroned five-time WMA Champion Jessica Patterson to become the youngest WMA champion ever. She was the first female rider featured in action on the cover of Transworld Motocross (or any major American motocross publication) and stood alone to advance women's racing in the U.S. to the next level of performance, recognition, and prestige. Not bad for her pro debut, which also featured a debilitating mid-season broken wrist.
A competitor to the core, Ashley's accomplishments on the track speak to her talent, dedication, and ambition. But it's not just how she races but who she races that might best tell her story. Women's motocross is a fast-emerging sport though it still garners little of the respect or recognition of men's motocross. But that's all changing, and, as always, Ashley's out in front. A potent combo of talent and charisma, Ashley is poised to change the face of women's racing in this country and around the world.