Professional stuntman (that’s still a thing?) is raising a glass to his hero Evel Knievel as he completed Knievel’s dream of jumping Snake River Canyon!
Knievel caught the attention of the world by doing dangerous jumps, mostly on his motorcycle, to the amusement and spectacle! The most famous was his failed attempt in 1974 to jump Snake River Canyon in Idaho. The parachute deployed prematurely and caused Evel to land at the bottom of the canyon where he only sustained minor injuries. It was the “could he make it?” question that plagued the stuntman till his death in 2007.
Using the designs, and the son of the original fabricator, of Evel’s original steam, powered rocket, 54-year-old stuntman Eddie Braun made it across the 427-meter canyon. The only modification to the design of the rocket, dubbed “Evel Spirit”, was to that tricky parachute system that failed Evel during his attempt.
In a statement made after the jump, Eddie said “I feel like the no-name, third-string quarterback of a junior-varsity team that just won the Super Bowl. My team got me there. I ran it into the end zone. We scored and won”. When asked before the jump if he thought he was going to suffer the same fate as Evil Eddie said: “I wouldn’t be doing this if I thought it couldn’t be done”.
A fitting tribute to the man that inspired him to become a stuntman, Eddie reached speeds of 644 kph before landing softly on the other side of the canyon. “I like to say I’m not doing something that Evel Knievel couldn’t do,” Eddie told reporters. Continuing with “I’m simply finishing out his dream. How many people get to finish the dream of their hero?
Evel would be proud.