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ADV NewsFMX Rider Visits Hospitals to Give Sick Kids Ride of Their Life

FMX Rider Visits Hospitals to Give Sick Kids Ride of Their Life

 Pro FMX rider Vanni Oddera brings Motorcycle Magic to children with cancer.

Published on 11.23.2018

What does it take to be a world-class freestyle motocross rider? Brass balls of course and yup, nerves of steel. And evidently, in the case of famous Italian rider Vanni Oddera and a handful of his FMX cohorts, a heart of gold occasionally completes the heroic package.

In this recent video Oddera is seen squirting through the corridors of an Italian hospital to the delight of the ward’s cancer-stricken children, popping over tiny jumps and even taking some of the kids for a thrill ride. Smiles abound as the children and their families are momentarily liberated from their worries and pain. But this wasn’t the first time Oddera has lifted the less-fortunate with his moto capers. In 2010 he began a movement he calls Mototerapia, or motorcycle therapy, which typically involves performing traditional FMX stunts for audiences of disabled or disease-stricken people of all ages, followed by one-on-one experiences with the colorful bikes and their daring riders.

Vanni Oddera Freestyle Hospital Mototherapy


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Thanks to the clean, quiet manners of KTM’s Freeride E-XC and the open minds of some hospital administrators in Italy “Freestyle Hospital” was born, enabling the crew to take their uplifting antics indoors as well, traveling from hospital to hospital for a romp through oncology wards. “They give me a unique emotion that [a crowd of ] 100,000 people can’t,” says Oderra of the men, women and children whose lives he touches. “From an early age I have always suffered for the malaise of other people. I’m fine when the others around me are fine,” he said in a recent interview, “that’s why I do all of this.”

In fact, the veteran FMX rider has just published a book “The Big Leap: Or How I Understood that Love for Others Makes You Happy.” Sadly, we’ll have to wait awhile for the English version of his tome and even longer to see the likes of Oderra racing through our local hospitals, but in the meantime at least we can watch these moving videos of a master rider delivering the magic of motorcycles to the people who need it most.

Photos by Lorenzo Refrigeri

Author: Jamie Elvidge

Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.

Author: Jamie Elvidge
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