Flippin' out: Metzger goes head over wheels at Caesars

Updated: May 5, 2006, 2:48 AM ET
Associated Press

Climb Every Fountain
Only four men have dared to jump their motorcycles over the immense fountain at Caesars Palace. The first two men were nearly killed trying.

Evil Knievel was first, on New Year's Eve, 1967. He crashed on the landing and spent 29 days in a coma.

Gary Wells tried it in September of 1980. He also crashed and was badly injured.

Robbie Knievel was third to try and first to land the jump, in April of 1989.

Mike Metzger succeeded on May 4, 2006, doing a backflip in the record-breaking 125-foot leap that set an official Guinness world record.

Metzger, a native of Menifee, Calif., has five career X Games medals and was the first man to land back-to-back backflips, at the 2002 X Games in Philadelphia.

LAS VEGAS -- Mike Metzger broke the world record for longest motorcycle backflip Thursday, flying 125 feet over the fountains at Caesars Palace and becoming only the second person to clear the pool on two wheels.

Immediately after a flawless landing over fountains that reached some 30 feet in the air, Metzger jumped off his 220-pound motorcycle and hugged his wife and three-year-old son.

"It's something I've wanted to do forever," said Metzger, a 30-year-old freestyle motorcross athlete.

"Everyone pushes the limits in Las Vegas!" he yelled as a crowd cheered and his parents, Ted and a tearful Sharon, looked on.

The jump, aired live on ESPN, was made legendary when motorcycle stuntman Evel Knievel suffered a 29-day coma crashing on a New Year's Eve 1967 attempt with no backflip.

Gary Wells also crashed horrifically trying the jump in 1980 but Knievel's son, Robbie, successfully landed a no-frills leap in April 1989.

Jeremy "Twitch" Stenberg was the previous record holder for longest motorcycle backflip with a 108-foot jump at the 2005 Summer X Games, an annual event featuring extreme sports.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press