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. Producing the stunt under the auspices of ESPN Original Entertainment is Media X International, Inc. (MXi).
“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
Launched in 2001, ESPN Original Entertainment is ESPN’s award-winning original programming banner. The EOE brand spans ESPN’s sports-themed original movies, scripted and unscripted dramatic series, daily talk and debate series, documentaries, game shows and groundbreaking televised events such as the X Games and The ESPY Awards, and is delivered across multiple media platforms. With theatrical releases such as Through the Fire about basketball phenom Sebastian Telfair and Once and a Lifetime about the 1970’s New York Cosmos, EOE continues to plant itself firmly on the cutting edge of sports and entertainment television and event creation. Also, EOE’s daily lifestyle and entertainment-themed series Cold Pizza and Quite Frankly are cornerstones of ESPN2’s programming lineup. With many new scripted and unscripted projects in development, EOE serves both the passionate sports fans and the more casual viewer, and strives to expand ESPN’s already industry-leading offerings in live events and sports news and information programming.
Caesars Palace, a Harrah’s Entertainment resort, is one of the world’s best known resort-casinos celebrating the glory that was Greece and the grandeur that was Rome, in an 85-acre destination location that sets the standard for entertainment, dining and luxury. Reigning at the heart of the Las Vegas Strip, Caesars Palace ranks among the world’s top luxury resorts known for their originality and beauty and features more than 3,300 hotel guest rooms and suites, 26 diverse restaurants and cafes, 4.5-acre Garden of the Gods pools and gardens, world-class health spa and salon services and 240,000 square feet of premium meeting and convention space. Its 4,100-seat Colosseum spotlights world-class entertainers such as Celine Dion, Elton John and Jerry Seinfeld, and sits just steps away from celebrity chef restaurants and The Forum Shops. For more information, visit www.caesarspalace.com or call (702) 731-7110 or (800) 634-6001.
Paramount Pictures is part of the entertainment operations of Viacom Inc., one of the leading global entertainment content companies, with prominent and respected brands in focused demographics across virtually all media.