Snowmobiler Levi LaVallee injured


SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- ESPN and Red Bull have issued a joint statement confirming that snowmobiler Levi LaVallee was injured while practicing for the "Red Bull: New Year. No Limits" event set for New Year's Eve in San Diego.

Details of the accident were not available but the statement confirms that LaVallee was taken to a local hospital, where he is in stable condition.

LaVallee, a seven-time Winter X Games medalist in snowmobile, is scheduled to attempt to break the current record of 301½ feet, set by Paul Thacker in March 2009 at Minnesota's Brainerd International Raceway.

LaVallee is slated to jump his Polaris snowmobile over a 300-foot water gap at San Diego's Embarcadero Marina Park. The stunt will be free for spectators and is scheduled to be broadcast live on ESPN on New Year's Eve (11 ET).

LaVallee was training on the same type of ramp he had planned to use on New Year's Eve. That jump would have measured just over 301 feet, but LaVallee was gradually working up to that distance during training. Previous training sessions in San Diego on a similar ramp and landing setup had taken place earlier in December without incident.

"I can't even explain how excited I am to be part of this year's 'Red Bull: New Year. No Limits,' " LaVallee said earlier this month. "With the jump gap itself being longer than the existing distance record, it is going to be one heck of a ride."

"The thing about distance jumping is that it's a simple concept: you go fast and fly far. But at those speeds, the consequences are huge. You don't just wipe out and dust yourself off," he continued.

In 2009, LaVallee attempted to throw the first double backflip on a snowmobile. In January, he won the Snowmobile Knockout event at Winter X Games 14, beating Chris Burandt with a 2,001-inch jump.

"Red Bull: New Year. No Limits" is an annual New Year's Eve event showcasing high-profile action sports athletes pushing the boundaries of their sports. In 2009, Travis Pastrana broke the record for longest Rally car jump, and in 2008, Robbie Maddison jumped his dirt bike onto and off of the Arc De Triumphe in Las Vegas, Nev.