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Healed and happy, Robbie Maddison comes back to Vegas

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Robbie Maddison.
Photo: Tom Donoghue/www.donoghuephotography.com

Four months after suffering an injury during a death-defying stunt on the Strip, daredevil Robbie Maddison returned to Las Vegas yesterday and vowed to one-up his New Year’s Eve spectacle.

The 27-year-old thrill seeker successfully jumped his motorcycle 120 feet to land atop the 96-foot high, 40-foot-wide Arc de Triomphe at Paris Las Vegas on Dec. 31.

Robbie Maddison's Paris Jump

The injury occurred during the 50-foot freefall that followed, when Maddison tore the flesh between his thumb and forefinger. He was rushed to UMC and needed 10 stitches to put the mangled hand back together.

Maddison Triumphs Arch

He initially promised to lay off the dangerous stunts following his New Year’s Eve mishap, but has since changed his tone.

Four months to the day later, he said “seconds, hours, days and months” have healed all wounds.

“Time’s got me hungry again,” he said. “I’m ready to just go for it again and I know … there’s room to push it even harder, so I’m just going to chase it out.”

He said he’s planning something that “mixes the speed together with a huge jump.”

“Obviously I’m going to go ridiculously high, but I’m just trying to get the geometry right so I can come back down to Earth safely,” he said.

“I understand there’s going to be a time when enough’s enough. You can’t just keep, like, cheating death and keep taking huge risks.”

Yet, it seems Maddison is determined to do just that: continue cheating death with huge motorcycle stunts.

He has set his sights on completing a mind-blowing, record-shattering 500-foot jump before he retires.

“I’m trying to work on getting my position to the point I want it at before I say goodbye to these scary stunts,” he said.

He also suggested he will “probably jump half of Las Vegas in the meantime.”

“In the next few years there will be a few more stunts, and hopefully I’ll be able to step out of it and still be intact to see the future,” he concluded.

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From the Archives
Maddison takes home injury after New Year's jump (1/1/09)
Beyond the Weekly
Robbie Maddison

He also has plans to mix things up a little and collaborate with international DJ Tiesto, who will be performing two solo shows in Las Vegas over Memorial Day weekend at Jet and the Bank.

Maddison hadn’t been back to Las Vegas since hurting himself in December.

“I needed to get away from this place for a little while just (to) kind of recollect and get back to normal life,” the Aussie said.

“It took a lot of time to unwind from it, too, you know, to get to that point of (being) ready to just say goodbye to everyone if something went wrong, to ride away from it and be totally stoked.”

Just over 100 days later, he said, “It’s good to be back.”

“The hand’s all healed up, it’s fine,” he added.

He put that hand to use yesterday and signed autographs for hundreds of fans during the grand opening of DC Shoes at Miracle Mile Shops.

The line to get inside the store snaked through the mall, past Sur La Table and Club Tattoo, across the main mezzanine and to the door of Wyland Galleries across from Tacone.

Many autograph-seekers waited for over an hour to meet Maddison and other members of the DC Motocross team, including Jeremy McGrath, Ricky Carmichael, Nate Adams, Adam Jones, Josh Hill, Davi Millsaps and Dustin Miller.

Beyond signing autographs and meeting oh-so-patient and dedicated fans, Maddison said his plans for his weekend in Las Vegas include seeing former “Police Academy” star Michael Winslow, with whom he shares a manager, at Bonkerz Comedy Club; watching supercross and hitting up the Hard Rock.

“I’m going to go probably to Wasted Space with the crew and party with (Chad) Reed,” he said.

When asked about rivalry and animosity between riders such as himself and motocross great (and Wasted Space club owner) Carey Hart, Maddison said there’s none.

“I’m friends with everyone, sponsors aside and all that kind of stuff,” he said.

“I’m a fan of the sport and that’s why I’m here. … I’m just here to connect with all the people (who) are here for the same reason and just have a good time.”

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Melissa Arseniuk

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