Send Rate 4/13/2006


Presented by Mission: Impossible III, Motocross Legend Will Backflip Live on ESPN and ESPN HD in Las Vegas on May 4, 2006

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.

ESPN Original Entertainment
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