Every sport has its GOAT. From Rossi of the MotoGP to Woods of the PGA to Schumacher of Formula One, there’s always one person to whom pretty much the entire legacy of a sport is attributed. In the world of Freestyle Motocross, that’s none other than Mike Metzger.

Metzger’s reputation has gone on to define today’s generation of high-risk, otherworldly stunts, garnering him the well deserved title of “The Godfather of Freestyle Motocross.” Metzger was one of the very first riders to pioneer all sorts of the crazy stunts we’re now seeing on two wheels, back during a time when machines weren’t exactly built with massive airtime in mind.

A short but sweet documentary featuring key highlights in Metzger’s career was recently uploaded to the Monster Energy YouTube channel, and it paints a good picture of just how Metzger achieved legend status in the FMX world.

Mike Metzger clicks into second gear while upside down performing a backflip.

Mike Metzger clicks into second gear while upside down performing a backflip.

Metzger was pretty much born on a motorcycle. The son of a motocross racer, Mike started racing MX early, at the age of six, with his dad pushing him to his limits and supporting his MX career from the very start. In the documentary, Metzger says that he was bred to win races, but it’s clear that he’s done so much more than just take home a bunch of championships—he defined a future generation of riders.

Some of Metzger’s most notable achievements include Freestyle and Big Air championships in the X Games and Winter X. But his most outlandish feat happened on May 4, 2006, and it sent him straight into the Guinness Book of World Records. Dubbed “The Impossible Jump,” the stunt consisted of a backflip over the fountains of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

The attempt was broadcast live for the world to see, and was a clear one-up of legendary daredevil Evel Knievel’s similar stunt back in 1967. Metzger gracefully flew off the ramp, executing a long and clean backflip before landing on the other side.

Not only was he the second person in history to ever jump over the fountains of Caesars Palace, he remains the only person ever to do so with a backflip. For reference, the world record Metzger set for the longest jump spanned a whopping 125 feet from the takeoff ramp.

Get the RideApart Newsletter
Sign Up Today

On the bike, Metzger was nothing short of a legend. But off the bike, it seems that he was a really cool, passionate dude, too. Renowned motorsports journalist Eric Johnson described Metzger as the man who "personified freestyle motocross." Meanwhile, Monster Energy founder Mark Hall describes Metzger’s personality as "larger than life."

It goes without saying that the world of motorsports is filled with lots of passion, perhaps more than any other sport in the world. And we have legends like Mike Metzger to thank for this, as folks like him not only show what we as humans are capable of, but also inspire, build, and mold the next generation of riders.

Got a tip for us? Email: tips@rideapart.com