In conjunction with the May 5 release of Mission: Impossible III and
the 40th anniversary of Caesars Palace this August, ESPN and ESPN HD
will showcase in a live telecast X Games gold medalist Mike Metzger as
he attempts to set a world record and become the first rider to
successfully perform a backflip over the fountains at Caesars Palace.
The fountains at Caesars Palace are famous for the legendary motorcycle
jump attempted in 1968 by Evel Knievel. “The Impossible Jump presented
by Mission: Impossible III” will be produced under the ESPN Original
Entertainment banner and air live on ESPN and ESPN HD, May 4 at 8:30
p.m. ET. The world record attempt will also be shown live on ESPN
International Networks to more than 33 million homes across the globe.
The event is free to the public.
Complementing the live jump coverage will be a one hour show that
explores the incredible action in Mission: Impossible III, focusing on
stunts performed by Tom Cruise himself and a team led by legendary
stunt coordinator, Vic Armstrong (Indiana Jones trilogy and James Bond
films). The telecast will also feature highlights from Knievel’s jump
and the progression of freestyle motorcycle jumping; more specifically,
the evolution of the backflip. Other highlights featured will include
Carey Hart’s backflip attempt at the X Games in 2001 and Metzger’s
back-to-back flips one year later in the X Games. In addition to Evel
Knievel’s jump in 1968, only two other Caesars Palace jumps have been
tried, including an attempt by Gary Wells in 1980 and the only
successful attempt by Knievel’s son, Robbie, in 1989.
“Athletes are always looking to progress their sports. Mike’s attempt
at a world record over the fountains at Caesars Palace is yet another
example on the long list of progression he has fostered in his sport,”
said Ron Semiao, senior vice president, ESPN Original Entertainment.
“It’s all the more exciting having the attempt telecast live from such
a legendary venue like Caesars Palace. Additionally, our telecast will
showcase the groundbreaking stunts in Mission: Impossible III.”
“As the home of the champions, Caesars Palace has served as the stage
for some of the world’s greatest and most unique sporting events, and
we are thrilled to also be a part of this historic motorcycle jump,
during the launch of our 40th anniversary celebration,” said Gary
Selesner, president of Caesars Palace. “We applaud Mike Metzger and
look forward to his successful record-setting jump over the fountains
at Caesars Palace.”
Mike “The Godfather” Metzger, age 30, is one of the most influential
riders in the history of freestyle motocross. With five X Games medals
to his name, three of which are gold, Metzger has been riding
motorcycles for more than 25 years. The Menifee, Calif. resident is
known for his legendary performance at X Games Eight when he won double
gold in Moto X Best Trick and Freestyle, and became the first rider to
land back-to-back flips in the history of the sport.
“Following someone as influential as Evel Knievel on such a monumental
jump as the Caesars fountains is a huge honor for me,” Metzger said
about his anticipated jump. “I can’t think of a better way to celebrate
40 years of Caesars Palace history.”
In the event that Metzger sets a world record for longest backflip,
Guinness World Record representatives will be present at Caesars Palace
to officially acknowledge the feat. Guinness World Records is the
universally recognized authority on record-breaking achievement. First
published in 1955, the annual Guinness World Records book is published
in more than 100 countries and 20 languages and is one of the
highest-selling books under copyright of all time.