When it comes to pulling off insane stunts, Vicki Golden has made the seemingly impossible look easy. But, on Sunday, July 7, the three-time X Games gold medalist took it to another level of extreme when she smashed through 13 plywood firewalls on a motorcycle, breaking a 12-year-old world record and achieving a feat that even renowned stuntman Evel Knievel couldn’t complete.
The ridiculously dangerous stunt was part of “Evel Live 2,” the second annual televised event, put on by The History Channel and action-sports group Nitro Circus, that recreates stunts attempted by Knievel himself during his heydey in the ’60s and ’70s. Golden’s recreation was a homage to the 1966 debut show of “Knievel and his Daredevils” in Indio, California, where Knievel shattered flaming boards, performed wheelies, and jumped over two pickup trucks.
Traveling at 30 MPH, the 29-year-old Golden became the first woman to set a new world record for riding through flaming boards, beating the 12-board record set by Louis “Rocket” Re in 2007.
“This was such an iconic record to go after,” Golden told Good Morning America. “It’s not something you hear about every day, everyone always wants to jump as far as they can possibly go and this was just something that just felt so good that it was inspired by Evel Knievel himself that I just had to go after it.”
“It sounds easy to count to 13 but not when you’re doing all that. I totally lost track of what I was doing.”
Golden’s inspiration for the fiery stunt was her late father, a dirt bike racer who ended up getting paralyzed in an accident.
“My dad was a huge Evel Knievel fan,” Golden said, according to History.com. “I did it for him and I did it for Evel.”
Vicki Golden’s mother was there to see her daughter complete the stunt, which only added to the emotion of the day.
“She’s been there for all my struggles and maybe one or two of the celebrations so for her to be there for this [was] special,” Golden said.
Unfortunately, not every stunt ended successfully. During a practice run only days before the event, 22-year-old freestyle motocross athlete Axell Hodges seriously injured his ankles and was unable to attempt his two stunts: one where he was meant to soar more than 200 feet over 25 semi trucks and another that, if completed, would have broken Robbie Maddison’s record of 378 feet and 9 inches as the longest motorcycle jump for all time.
Hodges arrived at “Evel 2 Live” only as a spectator and to cheer on Golden, but he’s determined to get back on the bike soon and make a quick comeback as a competitor.
“I’m bummed out for sure but there will be more to come,” Hodges said.