X-treme Performer: Evel Knievel

28 Feb

*An Extract from X-treme Feats, a new four week elementary curriculum from River’s Edge. Perfect for Easter. To be launched by March 11.


Evel Knievel was born with the name Robert Craig Knievel.  He started being referred to as Evel Knievel because Evel rhymed with his last name. However, he did not spell it like “evil” because he did not want his name to mean “evil.” He began to do daredevil type thrills and challenges early in life, first on a bicycle. As he got older he was involved in ski jumping, pole vaulting, and motorcross.

His first motorcycle stunt show had Knievel jumping a twenty-foot-long box of rattlesnakes and two mountain lions on his motorcycle. As time went on Knievel started jumping cars, adding more and more cars to his jumps to keep people coming out to see him again. He broke many bones during the years, more than any other human, 37 total. He jumped cars line up, cars stacked high, and buses lined up. He was a big hit on sports shows on television.  Some of Knievel’s biggest stunts and records included jumping 19 cars, 13 delivery trucks, 50 stacked cars and 14 Greyhound buses.

Knievel always talked about jumping the Grand Canyon, however, the government would not allow him to try. Instead he tired Snake River Canyon using a rocket-powered cycle. It actually would fly more like a rocket than a motorcycle. Unfortunately, the parachute was deployed at take-off and the cycle went down into the canyon, however, Knievel only had minor injuries.

Knievel believed that he could make the jumps. He believed that he would be able to stay on his motorcycle and land safely on the other side of whatever he was jumping. However, just believing was not enough. He had to act on that belief. He had to take a step of action on that belief.

When we talk about believing in Jesus, we are talking about the same type of belief. We can believe that Jesus exists. We can believe that He died on the cross. But it takes acting on that belief. Truly believing means trusting Him with our lives. It means taking that step of faith to give Him our lives.

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