MTV host TJ Lavin – also one of the world’s best-known professional BMX riders – will open Queenstown’s new Gorge Road Jump Park on Saturday.
The American TV presenter will take time out from filming reality show The Duel to cut the ribbon on the upgraded bike facility and demonstrate his dazzling moves.
Lavin has been in the resort since October shooting the big-money reality programme – believed to be a bit like British and Aussie TV hit Big Brother but with more colourful outdoor challenges.
And the Las Vegas-based BMX legend is “honoured” to help launch the revamped Gorge Rd attraction after being approached by Queenstown Mountain Biking Club events coordinator Nathan Greenwood.
“I might be a TV host but professional biking and dirt jumping is still my life,” says Lavin. “Every day off I’ve had since arriving here, I’ve been down at the park helping with the dig and testing out the jumps.
“It’s actually one of the best public tracks I’ve ever seen.”
Greenwood is “stoked” at persuading Lavin to front Saturday’s opening, which kicks off at 11am.
“In the biking world, you just don’t get anyone bigger than TJ,” he says.
Lavin is so popular in the US that he has a BMX bike range named after him. And he’s made so much cash from the sport, his Las Vegas mega-house has also featured on the hit MTV show Cribs.
Lavin returns to the US on Sunday when filming finishes on The Duel but he insists he’s so impressed with Queenstown he wants to buy a house here.
“This place has everything for an outdoor sports guy like me,” he says. “I’ve tried out every major adventure attraction in the area and I’ll definitely be back for more.”