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Lasting Impressions

Jordan Szoke’s Remarkable Career

In every sport there are athletes that start out early in their careers achieving goals of the highest honors and subsequently engrave their names in history books. Canadians might compare NHL hockey player Sydney Crosby’s early years to the beginnings of Jordan Szoke’s career, both athletes _DSC4204_optgained the attention and recognition of their peers at a very young age and inspired others as they set new standards in both of their respected disciplines; they continue to strive for greatness today.

Those who knew Jordan in the beginning will remember the grassroots years of mom & dad pulling into Shannonville with the woody station wagon and the CBX125 on an open deck trailer with Jordan in the back seat. A lot of people don’t realize how much it takes and how many sacrifices are made by families in order to race; hockey requires moms & dads getting into the car on Saturdays and sitting around in arenas for a couple of hours drinking a cup of coffee in order for their sons and daughters play to the game. The coaching is left up to the organization, and the equipment which may seem expensive at first, really doesn’t cost a whole lot if you think about it. Racing however, is a step above most other sports for the parent in terms of finance & travelling long distances to spend the whole weekend camping in tents or trailers rain or shine for the entire summer in order to make it possible for their children to live the dream; it is commendable to say the least. Jordan’s mom & dad were the quintessential race parents, taking on the all of the tasks of tuner, coach, driver & manager while still assuming the roles of mom & dad in order to support their son’s passion for racing. Having that essential foundation behind him, it didn’t take long before this long curly blonde California kid decked out in “jersey cow print” leathers was on the heels of the top riders in his class.

A year later in 1995, Jordan prepared to race his first professional race season and he had already made history as the youngest professional road racer in Canada . By the end of his introductory season as a pro, Jordan won both the RACE 125 Grand Prix and the RACE Unlimited Twins regional Championships. He was also awarded the “Rookie Pro of the Year Award”

At 17, Jordan set himself into the Pro 600 class aboard the Pennzoil Honda CBR600F3 and dominated the ’96 National Pro Twins Championship. At the_DSC4140_opt end of the season he was chosen along with other young upcoming top riders Francis Martin & Jean François Cyr, to race in Guyana South America and compete in the GMRC round of the Caribbean Championship. This would be the first time Jordan set foot out of the country and ended up being an unforgettable experience for everyone involved.

During the nineties, Kawasaki dominated the national series winning nine consecutive national superbike titles. At that time, every inspiring pro rider would have given their right arm to get a Factory ride on the green team. As you have it, Jordon was offered that chance after only three years in the professional ranks. This was a pivotal point in his career as he brought Kawasaki to their 8th consecutive national superbike championship. By the end of the 1998 season making him the youngest rider in Canadian history to carry the number one plate in superbike.

The following years brought Jordan south of the border to ride the Harley Davidson VR1000 and with the Corona Suzuki team. Other projects brought him as far as Japan to compete at the Suzuka Eight Hour Endurance Race. Jordan’s vast motorcycling skills not only include road racing, he’s also an _DSC8715_optexcellent trials rider ranking alongside some of the best professional trials competitors in country. His trials experience has taken him as far as Portugal and the Isle of Man to compete with Team Canada at the World Observed Trials Des Nations.

Now at the age of 29 Jordan’s statistics are staggering, a total of 5 National superbike Championships and 3 National 600 Championships. Established as Kawasaki’s most successful rider Jordan is within one race of beating 42 year old veteran rider Steve Crevier’s career record total race wins. He’s no longer the young kid on the grid and is on the verge of breaking all records set to date.

Exactly what makes him tick we may never know; whether it’s genetics that produce highly successful athletes or just plain blood, sweat, and tears, _DSC8745_optfocused discipline and working alongside experienced people over the years are an enormous part of the equation. I truly believe that the support a young athlete gets from his/her family in the early years are essential building blocks and in Jordan’s case, a large part of what molded this iconic Canadian motorcycle racer into the champion he is today.

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