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Motocross Competitor Jessie Wharton Seeks New Challenges

It takes courage to return to the sport that nearly took your life. Motocross competitor Jessie Wharton knows this firsthand.

In 2006 the Hockinson, Washington resident suffered a debilitating head injury when another bike landed on her during a race. The accident left her with facial nerve damage and deafness in her right ear.   But soon enough she got back on her bike.

In moto, racing is a family affair, with relatives helping to shoulder the emotional and financial costs of competing, as well as sharing the joys and successes. With her parents and siblings so involved in the community, Wharton wanted to be at the track.

Now, with her growing wedding photography business to think of, she must face a new challenge: transitioning out of the sport that defined her family, and in particular brought her closer to her father.

“If my dad has his way, I would be doing this forever,” she said.  

NW Stories: Motocross Racer Jessie Wharton from SOJC on Vimeo.

Credits: Host: Mychal Sargent; Executive Producer: Ed Madison; Managing Producers: Erik Bender, Jordan Bentz; Coordinating Producer: Maya Lazaro; Producers: Dana Bredeweg, Amanda Butt, Garrett Guinn, Sutton Raphael; Editor: Erik Bender; Marketing Manager: Sián Kavanagh; Production Assistant: Fahmo Mohammed; Additional Footage Provided By Jessie Wharton; Music: “Opening Credits” by Johnny Ripper, “Tranny” By Apache Tomcat, “Tick Tock” Josh Woodward; Animation: Softbox; Produced In Partnership With Oregon Public Broadcasting Program, Funded By Agora Center School of Journalism and Communication University of Oregon, Special Thanks To OR Media University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication