In July 2005, with more than 100 million watching on Television, 31-year-old Californian Danny Way jumped the Great Wall of China on his skateboard.
Taking off from a 65 feet (10.66m) Mega Ramp at a speed of 50 mph (80kmph), Way cleared a 70 feet (21.33m) section of the Great Wall five times. He also threw in 360 degree spins on his last three runs. And he did it all with a severely sprained ankle which he injured practising in China. A week later, still in pain, he chose to defend his title in the X Games Big Air event, winning the gold medal on his final attempt.
Way invented the Mega Ramp, which he previously used to set three world records for longest distance jumped (79ft, 24.07m), highest air on a vert pipe (23ft 5ins, 7.01m) and speed (44mph, 71 kmph). The sport's big-air pioneer, Way has also dropped into a vert pipe from a helicopter 35 feet above an airport tarmac.
Danny Way is continually pushing himself and his skateboarding to the next level, driven on by a daredevil’s spirit. Over the years the cost has been high. In 1994, Way broke his neck in a surfing accident, which took him a year to recover. Between 1999 and 2002, he underwent surgery seven times – five occasions on his knee and twice on his shoulder. But Way accepts this is the nature of what he is doing and accepts the consequences of pushing himself in this way, understanding that there will be another injury to work through, and another rehabilitation.