Asia Time Online - Daily News
Asia Times Chinese
AT Chinese

    Greater China
     Jul 12, 2005
Way over the Great Wall

HUNTINGTON BEACH - Sponsor Quiksilver Inc announced that X Games gold medalist and DC Shoes team rider Danny Way set a new world record by successfully landing his "Quiksilver Great Wall of China MegaRamp Jump" on July 9 at the Ju Yong Guan Gate outside of Beijing.

Way already held skateboarding world records for distance (24 meters) and unaided height (7.14 meters), but the Great Wall of China leap was his greatest test ever. Way set a new world record by becoming the first human being to successfully leap the wall without motorized assistance, a feat he accomplished an incredible five times in front of Chinese dignitaries including the ministers of extreme sports and culture, friends, family, the world media and thousands of spectators.

Numerous people have tried to jump over the Great Wall, most notably a 2002 attempt that left a mountain biker dead, but Way was the first to attempt the feat on a skateboard.

"I came to China with a goal and that was to jump over the Great Wall," said Way. "I have accomplished that and I feel like my job is done. I was aware of the dangers and my heart was pumping in my chest the whole time, but I managed to pull it off with the help of my team, and I'm honored to have my visions embraced by the people of China. 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 I've contributed to the future of skateboarding and helped bring my sport the global attention it deserves."

Way's first attempt over the Wall ended with a controlled fall that saw him clear the 18.6 meter gap before throwing his board and sliding to the bottom of the landing ramp on his back. His second attempt was successful, and on his remaining three jumps he upped the ante by completing spectacular 360 degree spins over the Wall.

Following each of the four successfully landed jumps Way continued at speeds of nearly 50 miles per hour into the quarterpipe where he attempted to break his own world record for vertical height out of a skateboard ramp. On two occasions he clearly exceeded the height, but unfortunately was forced to abandon his board prior to landing, making any result unofficial.

During a post-jump ceremony Xiang Yu's Mr. Wang Jianjur, local co-coordinator of the project and head of the Ministry of Culture in China, presented Way with a small piece of the Wall. "This is a great honor," Way responded. "I feel like I have left a piece of myself on the Wall and now I have a small part to take home with me. Thank you very much."

"Quiksilver is honored to support DC's Danny Way on his amazing, world record-setting jump over the Great Wall of China," said Bob McKnight, CEO of Quiksilver. "Danny is a gutsy athlete and pioneer whose success makes all of Quiksilver's global team very proud." Quiksilver's greater China marketing director Ryan Hollis added in an interview from Beijing: "It was pretty fantastic. He really has spent quite a few years even thinking about this whole idea. It's been in logistical planning for about eight months... It was pretty amazing today to see this happen, to see it adopted by the culture, adopted by the government."

"It was incredible to see Danny's vision become reality," said Ken Block, President of DC Shoes. "We are very proud to be associated with Danny's jump. It doesn't get any bigger than the Great Wall, and this achievement represents the ultimate culmination of his years of preparation and success."

"The great feat of Danny Way jumping over our Great Wall and accomplishing his own dream served as an inspiration to the youth in China," said Kin Mak, of Global Village Media Group. "Danny Way showed us that it is possible to realize our dreams, and it is the essence of challenging our own extreme spirit. Global Village Media Group and MegaRamp Events are excited to have staged the Quiksilver MegaRamp Jump and [its] satellite events that unified the spirit of the entire day."

The Quiksilver and DC-branded Beijing MegaRamp was designed by Way to be the largest skateboarding structure ever constructed, even larger than the existing MegaRamp in Temecula, California, where he first set records in 2003. The roll-in platform where he began his descent in Beijing was adjusted to 30.1 meters, the gap he cleared was in excess of 18.6 meters, and the height of the quarterpipe was a total of 9.7 meters.

Highly regarded within the action sports community as a pioneer and a visionary, Way has repeatedly challenged the limitations set by other athletes and himself-breaking his own records when no one else could. The Carlsbad, California resident and world record holder also surfs, rides motocross and snowboards at a professional level.

The Ju Yong Guan Gate, at nearly 3,000 years old, stands as one of the most important cultural sites in China, and one of the country's top tourist destinations. The events there included music, fashion and action sports competitions in a two day festival which culminated with Way's jump. DC promoted Way's historic feat with two new 30-second broadcast spots, which aired June 27 through July 17 on MTV, MTV2, and ESPN.

The Quiksilver Great Wall MegaRamp Jump was made possible by the collaborative efforts of Quiksilver, DC Shoes, MegaRamp Events, Global Village Media Group, Dragon TV, Zealand, Xiang Yu Cultural Production Agency, China's Cultural Department and the generous consent of the People's Republic of China.

(from news services)



All material on this website is copyright and may not be republished in any form without written permission.
Copyright 1999 - 2005 Asia Times Online Ltd.
Head Office: Rm 202, Hau Fook Mansion, No. 8 Hau Fook St., Kowloon, Hong Kong
Thailand Bureau: 11/13 Petchkasem Road, Hua Hin, Prachuab Kirikhan, Thailand 77110