Robbie Maddison’s jump over the Corinth Canal in Greece is just the latest instalment in his incredible life and career. We revisit six previous chapters of Maddo’s story…
Out of this Planet-X
In his teens, Robbie had just about given up on a career in bikes after slipping behind in the races where he’d once excelled, and at the age of 16 he started an electrician’s apprenticeship. Then he heard about how some of his former peers were trying FMX. He subsequently turned up at Australia’s Planet-X Games in 2003 and stunned the field with a backflip he’d only achieved before on a mate’s home-made ramp, and a star was born.
Field of dreams
Maddo was soon really big in FMX, and by 2007 he was ready to emulate his greatest hero, Evel Knievel, who had recently passed away. In Las Vegas for Red Bull: New Year. No Limits., then simply called 'Red Bull Experiment', the Aussie smashed Knievel’s world distance record for a bike jump, posting 322 feet over a football field, thwarted in his attempt to break the planned 360-foot mark by a headwind. That's a pretty successful experiment (see below).
The very next New Year’s Eve, having broken his own distance record in Australia in March 2008 at the Crusty Demons Night Of World Records with a jump of 342 feet, 7 inches, Robbie changed tack on his Nevada return. At the Paris Las Vegas casino, he leapt 96 feet onto the top of a replica Arc de Triomphe to the delight of the huge Red Bull: New Year. No Limits. crowd. As he dropped down the ramp and back to ground level, Robbie cut his hand to the bone with a heavy landing. “I just cheated death again,” he then commented in the casual way only a real hero could get away with.
A river runs through it
With London eagerly anticipating the grand finale of Red Bull X-Fighters 2009, Robbie Maddison brought the series to the UK capital with a bang last July, jumping the iconic Tower Bridge, alongside the 1,000-year-old Tower of London. With tall ships a dying breed on the River Thames, the bridge’s platform rarely lifts, and the sight of Maddo backflipping the 116-year-old structure was a once-in-a-lifetime display.
As well as being the star of many other shows, Robbie decided to get together some of the biggest names in MX and FMX to tackle some of the Australian rough stuff for Red Bull XRAY, his own big blowout in Picton, New South Wales. The 2009 edition saw Maddo pull spectacular air by the 130-foot tabletop, right by the judging tower, and just edge this year’s Red Bull X-Fighters newcomer Taka Higashino. Watch brilliant Maddo-helmetcam action below.
A leap of another kind
Maddo and his longtime fiancé, wakeboarder Amy Sanders, decided to take a giant leap of a personal nature, and after just six weeks of planning they got married in Kiama, New South Wales, just last month, with a fireworks display over the harbor for their hastily-assembled friends and family. Most people wouldn’t want their folks interfering with their love life, but it turns out the happy couple have Amy’s parents to thank, having introduced them to one another. “They thought we’d be perfect together, and they were right,” Amy says. “He’s very cheeky, and a really good person.” And what does the cheeky groom have to say about his new spouse? “I love her – she's awesome,” he explains. Aww…