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    Greater China
     Jul 9, 2005
Skateboarder Danny Way to leap Great Wall

SYDNEY - Quiksilver, Global Village Media Group and MegaRamp Events recently announced their sponsorship of world skateboarding champion Danny Way's attempt to jump across the Great Wall of China on Saturday in Beijing.

The feat is scheduled to take place at the historic Juyongguan Gate, a landmark site among the top tourist destinations of the Great Wall. Way, 31, of Encinitas, California, already holds multiple world records, including two for distance jumped (24m) and vertical height over a skateboard ramp (7.14m), and was the first two-time winner of Thrasher magazine's "Skater of the Year" award. These records, set last year, are merely the backdrop to Way's world record-setting attempt in Beijing, where he will unveil his specially designed MegaRamp, and try to break both these records, plus another for speed on a skateboard, in the dramatic attempt.

Way acknowledges the importance of the Quiksilver Great Wall Jump: "Skateboarding has yet to realize its full potential, and by bringing this event to the people of China and the rest of the world, I hope to contribute to the future of skateboarding and the global attention this sport can achieve. Every jump presents a unique set of challenges and this jump is no exception, but I have made all the necessary mental and physical preparations."

The Beijing MegaRamp will be the largest skateboarding structure ever built at 36.58m high, with a gap distance of 22.86-27.43m and a quarter-pipe height of 9.14m. The roll-in angle will measure 60 degrees, and may see Way break the skateboard speed record on his descent. Work on the MegaRamp construction started this week thanks to the facilitation of the Xiang Yu Cultural Production Agency, who worked diligently with the China Cultural department to secure the right to use the world famous site. As of July 8, with about 28 hours to go before the jump, Way had arrived at Juyongguan to inspect the completed ramp.

Corporate sponsors for the jump included Quiksilver, the world leaders in action sports; DC Shoes; the visionary Global Village Media Group (GVMG); Dragon TV; and Los Angeles-based MegaRamp Events, which are presenting the world record attempt with the blessing and cooperation of the People's Republic of China. Quiksilver's Greater China marketing director, Ryan Hollis, said: "As industry leaders, Quiksilver is proud to offer this spectacular event to the Chinese people. Through this we hope more people will understand and appreciate action sports. The edge, energy and passion of skateboarding, pegged against the strength and weight of the Great Wall, will hopefully ignite a spark among Chinese youth for the sport, the lifestyle, and the spirit."

Global Village Media Group CEO David Tumaroff said: "The great feat of Danny Way jumping over the Great Wall and accomplishing his own dream should be an inspiration to the youth in China. Danny Way shows us it is possible to realize our dreams, and it is the essence of challenging our own extreme spirit." Global Village Media Group is excited to be staging the jump in conjunction with Quiksilver and MegaRamp, and the satellite events co-produced by Dragon TV will unify the spirit of the entire day.

Danny Way is no stranger to life's challenges. Since the age of six he has been well on his way to legendary status as a skateboarder. As one of the youngest ever sponsored skaters at 14, Way has consistently pursued excellence. Despite personal setbacks and crippling injuries, including a broken neck in 1994, a dislocated shoulder, and injuries requiring seven surgeries between 1999 and 2002, Way has continually proven his athletic skills as well as his dedication to the progression of his sport. Highly regarded within the action sports community as a pioneer and a visionary, Danny has repeatedly challenged the limitations set by other athletes and himself, breaking his own records when no one else could.

In 1997 Way became the first and only skateboarder in history to drop out of a helicopter into a skate ramp, adding the term "bomb drop" to the skating lexicon. In 2004, Way again broke his own world records with a distance of 24m and unaided height of 7.14m during the X Games held in Los Angeles, California.

Numerous jumps of The Great Wall have been attempted over the years, some more successful than others including an horrific BMX accident that left one man dead in 2002, but Way will be the first to attempt the jump on a skateboard. "I am aware of the dangers but I am also excited to be achieving a life-long goal and honored to have my visions embraced by the people of China," said Way. He conceived the feat several years ago while on a flight to Asia. But there seemed little chance the jump would become reality until Way met the right official about a year ago: the chairman of the China Extreme Sports Association, a government body created to oversee extreme sports in the country.

For centuries, the Great Wall of China was the most daunting defensive structure on earth, symbolizing the strength and innovation of the people it protected. On July 9, one man is honoring that strength and innovation, simultaneously focusing the world's attention on a proud nation and a progressive endeavor as he attempts an unprecedented world record for skateboarding.

The great feat will be re-broadcast globally via ESPN (North America), Eurosport (Europe), Extreme Channel (Europe, Middle East), Channel Four (UK), Fox Sports Net (Australia), and TBS (Japan), reaching billions of viewers and enthusiasts. Live streaming coverage on the internet (the attempt has a dedicated web page) is also planned.

(Asia Pulse)


Beijing Olympics go from flashy to frugal (Nov 4, '04)

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