Minocqua snowmobiler races in honor of brother - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Minocqua snowmobiler races in honor of brother

EAGLE RIVER (WAOW) - Matt Ritchie of Minocqua is riding in the snowmobile world championships in Eagle River. This year, he's doing it to remember his brother Jeremy, 22, who died in an Oneida County crash on Tuesday.

Two other people were also killed.

He remembers the first time he rode a snowmobile.

"My parents took me and my brother and sister to Bosacki's in Minocqua, Wisconsin," said Ritchie.

His family rides too.

"My brother started racing at the age of three and my sister started at the age of six or seven and then I just kind of fell into the roots and been doing it ever since," said Ritchie.

The 19-year-old has come a long way.

"I've won five world championships in amateur and one semi-pro championship," said Ritchie.

Now, he's taking on the semi-pro world championships again. But this race means more to him than others because of his brother. That event changed the way Matt is looking at the race.

"It really got me the motivation this weekend because I know he'd really want me to be here, and I really want to win this one for him and I think we can do it," said Ritchie.He really knew how to get a person rallied up and he raced himself so he knows what it's like so you got to be smooth fast and just make it happen."

Whether he wins or loses, Matt says he's looking at racing and life differently.

"You can make anything happen and live life to the fullest because you never know what can happen and live life like you're dying everyday," said Ritchie.

Matt is racing in different events this weekend including the world championship race Sunday. He put new decals with Jeremy's name on his snowmobile.

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