Motorcycle daredevil Robbie Knievel became the first man to successfully jump the fountains at Caesars Palace, vaulting about 160 feet Friday night to accomplish a stunt that nearly killed his father 22 years ago.
Knievel hit the top of a landing ramp with his rear wheel first and then motored into a underground garage, having no trouble avoiding cement pillars in the area that were padded and protected with bales of hay. The 26-year-old son of Evel Knievel made the jump at 8:25 p.m. MDT.Knievel, who did not raise his arms off the handlebars as planned, then doubled back to the top of the landing ramp and lifted his arms in triumph. His father was one of the first to reach him and offer congratulations.
"I came into the underground parking perfect," said Robbie, who reached an estimated 90 mph. "I did it, I did it. There is really no feeling, I was concentrating so much."
More than 50,000 spectators packed the grounds of the Las Vegas resort at dusk to watch the event, and millions more watched on pay television. An ambulance with a neurosurgeon on board was on alert, but was not needed.
Two previous attempts to clear the six fountains had failed. Evel Knievel made the first attempt in 1967 and spent 67 days in the hospital - half of that in a coma after falling off his motorcycle in a spectacular crash.
Gary Wells then tried in 1980 and was critically injured as well.
Knievel said he had a guarantee of receiving at least $250,000 for the jump. He has a share of the broadcast revenues.