While some run away to join the circus, motocross star Levi Sherwood is bringing it home with the opening of Nitro Circus in Palmerston North.
The city will host the first show of Nitro Circus’ 2017 international tour with homegrown star Sherwood among the main attractions.
Sherwood, a three-time X Games medallist and Nitro World Games freestyle motocross champion, was born and raised in Manawatu.
“There has been so many broken bones, torn ligaments and more concussions than I can count,” Sherwood said.
With more than 10,000 people expected to see the show, Sherwood was not feeling any additional pressure of the home crowd or Manawatu’s infamous wind.
“It just feels normal, this is all I have ever done as soon as I left school.
“There is always something going on, but it doesn’t feel like work.”
Sherwood said his career in freestyle motocross “just kind of happened”.
“My dad rode bikes, he raced speedway, I was always around dirt bikes and always wanted to ride them.
“I have been through stages when I have been burnt out. But I never take it too seriously, I just like riding bikes.”
He was glad to be on home turf.
“It is good to have something at home and be able to go home after a show and not have to travel halfway around the world.
“I’m just stoked to ride my own bike and sleep at home.”
Nitro Circus spokesman Nathan Brown said 10,000 tickets were already sold, and more were expected to go.
From its Palmerston North launch, the 2017 tour will travel to 67 cities around the world.
“This is the full-blown international tour act,” Brown said.
All athletes would be on display in the first show, something that could not be guaranteed at later stages.
“Unfortunately that is just the line of work these guys are in.”
This would be the first Nitro Circus show since October and the athletes were keen to kick-off with a good show.
“All the guys are really excited.”
Nitro Circus is on at CET Arena at 7pm on Friday.