December 18, 2006
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According to the Long Beach Press Telegram:

The motocross rider who backflipped his way over the Caesar’s Palace waterfalls and into the record books was injured during a Discovery Channel taping near the Queen Mary on Wednesday. Mike Metzger, a professional motocross rider, was transported by Long Beach Fire Department paramedics after sustaining spinal injuries when he jumped from one barge to another near the Queen Mary Wednesday. Metzger, who set a record when he backflipped over the Caesar’s Palace waterfalls, was taping a segment for the Discovery Channel TV show “Stunt Junkies.” Mike Metzger attempted a backflip over the 75-foot gap between two barges anchored in the channel, said Discovery Channel spokesman Andrew Scafetta. The Discovery Channel airs the “Stunt Junkies” series for which Metzger was filming.

“He did the backflip, but when he landed, he landed hard on the back wheels of his bike and hurt his back,” Scafetta said. “He fractured his L-4 vertebra. He’s doing fine, but he will be in the hospital for a couple of days.”

The incident occurred just after 2 p.m., said Long Beach Fire

“He was doing well and was cheerful, considering the nature of his injury,” said Duree, adding that Metzger told paramedics that he had sustained painful injuries in the past.

His jump over the Caesar’s Palace waterfalls made him the first individual to complete a backflip over the falls. Robbie Knievel was the first to successfully land a jump – sans backflip – over the waterfalls at Caesar’s. He is also the first athlete to pull off back-to-back backflips at the X-Games. Guests featured on the “Stunt Junkies” TV series typically come up with their own stunts, which are then constructed by designers who examine and explain the physics, Scafetta said. Past episodes of the half-hour show have featured skateboarder Bob Burnquist doing BASE jump after attempting a rail slide into the Grand Canyon, and freestyle snowmobiler Jay Quinlan’s bid to be the first individual to barrel-roll a snowmobile in mid-air.

When and whether Metzger’s segment would be aired wasn’t available early Wednesday evening. This was the first time Long Beach was selected to serve as a backdrop for the show, said Queen Mary marketing vice president Lovetta Kramer. “The Queen Mary site was chosen because it’s an icon of Southern California, and we’re always looking for interesting locations,” Scafetta said.


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