Maddison, Millen featured in big jumps |

Maddison, Millen featured in big jumps

Dick Clark has his Rockin’ New Year’s Eve. This December 31, Las Vegas will have its totally gnarly, jumping, back flipping New Year’s Eve.

Red Bull is launching the Red Bull Experiment, a series that will feature the world’s best extreme athletes accomplishing never done before sporting achievements. The first two achievements set to be done a week from Monday at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino will surely be considered legendary in the world of extreme sports.

Australian freestyle motocross star Robbie Maddison will attempt to jump more than the length of the football field as he says he will jump 360 feet while New Zealand champion drifter and movie stunt driver Rhys Millen will attempt the first-ever back flip in an off-road racing truck.

The first jump will take place at 9 p.m. (midnight eastern), so it will be held on the New Year on the East Coast. The other jump will take place at midnight so it will be held on the New Year on the West Coast. Both jumps will be televised live by ESPN and validated by the Guinness World Book of Records.

In practice, Maddison and Millen have already unofficially accomplished world records as both have successfully done their jumps in practice. Millen has done the back flip more than 10 times so far, although he hasn’t done it from ramp to ramp.

Every time he’s done his jump so far, he’s landed in a foam pit. Millen’s first ramp to ramp back flip will be done in Las Vegas.

Maddison started out at 180 feet and has done a jump of 330 feet in practice. He will jump 360 feet for the first time in Las Vegas.

Since Maddison missed this entire year of competition with a broken leg he jumped (yes, pun intended) at this chance. “One thing led to another and here we are,” said Maddison about the upcoming jump.

Along with his practice jumps, Maddison has worked out in the gym and rides every day in preparation for the real thing. But he noted he’s had his whole life – 21 years of riding – to prepare for this jump. “Practice has been good,” Maddison said.

“It was pretty scary,” Maddison also said about his 330-foot jump. “It was really a huge jump.

“It’s getting close. I’m ready to go, to get this over with. It’s making it hard to sleep at night.”

Maddison has no doubts he’ll make the jump. “It’s fun jumping in Vegas,” he said. “I’ve got one try to get over it. It’s pretty gnarly.”

If he wasn’t confident, Maddison said it could “make something go wrong.” Maddison also said if he lacked confidence then “I probably wouldn’t be doing it.”

Like Maddison, Millen has been working hard in preparing for his upcoming jump. The idea for the back flip originated when Millen talked about drifting trucks. “That’s kind of what it all came from,” he said.

The idea first came up this past January and Millen received the green light for the jump at the end of October. Preparation began by watching back flips done with other vehicles such as snowmobiles on YouTube.

“It’s been about eight long week of training hard,” Millen said. He said he and his crew have been working seven days a week, 12 hours a day. He said the training has taken its toll as he has developed a severe cold. Still, he plans to do a few more practice jumps before the big one in Las Vegas.

Millen is trying to take the jump in stride, but admitted “that’s going to be a little exciting” when he does the jump for real.

He also admits he’s a little concerned about the weather, especially if it’s windy – which it tends to be in Las Vegas. But he also said he’s excited to be able to do the jump in Las Vegas. “It is a perfect location without a doubt,” Millen said.

And like, Maddison, Millen has plenty of confidence. “Right now we’re just eager obviously to put it to rest and show the world it can be done,” Millen said. “I’m feeling pretty comfortable. We’ve got it down pretty consistent.”

Tickets are now available to the public and can be purchased for $12 at and the Rio Box Office.