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Evel KNIEVEL

Evel Knievel, born Robert Craig Knievel, was an American stunt performer and daredevil known for his motorcycle jumps. One of his most famous and ambitious stunts was his attempted jump over the fountains at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on December 31, 1967.

The Build-Up

Evel Knievel had been making a name for himself with various motorcycle jumps and stunts, gaining a reputation for his daring feats and showmanship. The jump at Caesars Palace was intended to be his most spectacular yet, aimed at catapulting him into the national spotlight. The fountains at Caesars Palace were iconic, and the proposed 141-foot jump over them would be a record-breaking feat at the time.

The Preparation

In the weeks leading up to the jump, Knievel engaged in a massive publicity campaign. He used various tactics to generate media interest and secure the necessary permissions, including creating multiple fake identities to pose as reporters and business representatives. This effort paid off, as the jump garnered significant media attention.

The Jump

On the day of the jump, a large crowd gathered to watch, and television cameras were rolling to capture the event. Knievel, dressed in his signature red, white, and blue jumpsuit, mounted his Harley-Davidson XR-750 motorcycle and approached the takeoff ramp.

As he launched into the air, it became clear that the jump would not go as planned. Knievel cleared the fountains, but his bike's rear wheel clipped the edge of the landing ramp. The impact caused Knievel to lose control and crash violently.

The Aftermath

The crash was severe. Knievel was thrown from his motorcycle and tumbled across the pavement, sustaining multiple injuries. He suffered a crushed pelvis and femur, fractures to his hip, wrist, and both ankles, and a concussion that left him in a coma for 29 days.

Despite the seriousness of his injuries, the jump at Caesars Palace cemented Knievel's status as a daredevil legend. The footage of the jump and subsequent crash was broadcast widely, turning Knievel into a household name and a symbol of courage and recklessness.

Legacy

Evel Knievel's jump at Caesars Palace is often regarded as one of the most famous stunts in history, not just for the attempt itself but for the dramatic crash that followed. The event showcased Knievel's willingness to push the boundaries of what was possible, inspiring future generations of stunt performers and extreme sports athletes.

Knievel went on to perform many more jumps and stunts throughout his career, becoming an enduring icon of American pop culture. The Caesars Palace jump remains a significant moment in his career, epitomizing the risks and rewards of daredevilry.

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