July 10, 2005

U.S. skateboarder jumps China’s Great Wall

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - California skateboarder Danny Way
jumped over a 61-foot (18.6-meter) gap in the Great Wall of
China, becoming the first person to clear the ancient
fortification without motorized aid, his sponsor said.

Way then went on to jump the wall three more times on
Saturday, taking off from a specially built ramp at the nearly
3,000-year-old Ju Yong Guan Gate, and adding in 360-degree
spins as spectators looked on.

"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," Way said in a statement.

Way, of Carlsbad, California, was sponsored by Quiksilver
Inc., which makes skateboard apparel.

Others have tried to jump the Great Wall before. In 2002,
Wang Jiaxiong, a mountain biker, fractured his skull and died
after overshooting his planned landing area. Way was the first
person to try the jump on a skateboard.

Way already holds the world records for distance jumped by
skateboard and for height at 79 feet and 23.5 feet,

(Reporting by Paritosh Bansal in Los Angeles)