Man Wins GoPro’s Million Dollar Challenge with Insane Yosemite Rock Swing Stunt

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Overwhelmed by all the positive messages I’ve gotten in the last couple days since finding out I won the #GoProMillionDollarChallenge for a second year in a row. This competition that @GoPro has put on the past 2 years has allowed me to live the life I’ve always dreamed of and been working towards for the past 8 years. So thankful for all the people involved in helping me get the shots that made it in the competition. (5 of my shots made it out of 42,000 submissions) Some people seem to be confused so I’ll quickly clear up that no I’m not a millionaire now nor did I win a cut for each clip that made it but the 45 winners all took home $22,222 each. This is a life changing amount of money to someone like me who has put their passions above all other monetary pursuits in life and it’s finally paying off. There’s so much to this story and so many who’ve helped along the way. This swing was one of the largest mental blocks I’ve ever had to overcome and it felt incredible to push past that fear and do it which paid off in the end. I’m thinking about making a mini doc that explains everything that’s led up to this moment over the past 6 years, is that something you guys would be interested in watching?

A post shared by Steven Donovan (@es_dons) on

Steven Donovan made a name for himself in 2019 when he won GoPro’s Millions Dollar Challenge with his video of a crazy rope swing stunt in Utah. In 2020, he won again, this time for an insane stunt in Yosemite.

In his second video to win the Million Dollar Challenge, Donovan launched off El Capitan in Yosemite 3,000 feet above the valley floor. The result is an epic swing off the rock face and a beautiful GoPro 360 video.

Here’s the video that won the challenge:

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A year ago, @gopro launched the hero 8 and Max 360 camera along with a challenge to shoot for a portion of a million dollars. I was incredibly close to backing out of this experience out of sheer terror for how uncomfortable the thought of doing it was going to be. I don’t typically do most the stunts I prefer to capture my friends doing them instead so this was a massive mental block to overcome. I ended up winning the challenge with this shot which was just icing on the cake of overcoming my biggest fear. The million dollar challenge is back this year with the #Hero9 and I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to top this swing for this years challenge. Big thanks to @justinreedolsen @danmaniel @devondelattre and everyone else who rigged and encouraged me to do this swing.

A post shared by Steven Donovan (@es_dons) on

In the video, Donovan is seen rappelling down El Capitan before he suddenly runs out of rope and is seen swinging thousands of feet above the ground. He was able to use the 360 camera to capture every angle of the stunt and it once again put him in the lore of GoPro greats.

“I was pretty anxious the week leading up to it and barely slept at all the night before, but as soon as I clipped my harness into that rope, (most) of that anxiety went away and I felt pretty calm about the whole thing,” Donovan said in his interview with GoPro. “As soon as the swing was in motion, I had this intense wave of euphoria and felt a huge weight come off my shoulders for having done it.”

The GoPro Million Dollar Challenge is an annual video challenge where people submit their best, funniest and most creative unedited clips for a shot at their share of a million dollars. Donovan’s share of the million dollars was $22,222. Today, he lives in a van and travels the world filming adventure videos with his friends, and he’ll use his winnings to continue to fuel his passion.

“This is a life changing amount of money to someone like me who has put their passions above all other monetary pursuits in life and it’s finally paying off,” Donovan wrote on Instagram.

Congrats to Steven on living his best life and capturing the whole adventure on his trusty GoPro. Keep the adventure alive, Steven!

Active NorCal

Northern California's Outdoor Digital Newsmagazine

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