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Las Vegas native and freestyle motocross motorcycle racer Carey Hart loves when action sports athletes show up in his town. And this weekend, the best riders in skateboarding, BMX and motocross will compete in the Dew Tour Championships at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
"This is a special place to me. I still have a home here," said Hart, who is nicknamed "Vegas" and turned pro in 1993. "This championship is such a great platform for the athletes. It's going to be a great weekend."
The showdown between six-time BMX vert champion Jamie Bestwick and Steve McCann highlights the weekend. McCann won the event last month after Bestwick fell on a critical final run. In skateboard vert, there's another dramatic finale between Shaun White, Bucky Lasek and Pierre-Luc Gagnon.
As for Hart, he isn't competing this weekend. He's just there as a celebrity and to help with his freestyle motocross event on Friday. Fans will be treated to a free FMX Best Whip contest, followed by the skate street finals and a concert by 50 Cent.
After a serious motorcycle accident eight years ago, the 36-year-old Hart is more cautious about his racing.
"I had one of those 'Come to Jesus' moments, so I started to focus on other things," said Hart, who has acted in movies and TV shows and has opened several tattoo shops. "I learned early on from my dad that things can't last forever. I always think about that. I have to focus on the future."
And that means spending more time with wife, Pink, and their daughter, Willow Sage, who was born this past summer.
"I love being a father and I have to re-evaluate how much I want to ride," said Hart, who also has been affected by the death of his brother in a motorcycle accident in 2008. "It's all about the right priorities. You always want to stay relevant, but you have other things to think about these days."