Lee Evans has brain tumor; Olympic legend tried masters track
A shocker: Lee Evans has a brain tumor and lacks the money to treat it. So says an incredibly sad account in The Nation by Dave Zirin. If you don’t know who Lee Evans is, lissen up, children. He was the God of the 400 in the late 1960s, the WR man who was first to go sub-44. Dave writes: “The basic conditions of Lee Evansâ€™s room has improved in the last twelve hours. But the fact that his care is even a question constitutes a national disgrace.” The hat is being passed: “An account and donation page are being set up for Lee. … checks can be sent to Rosemary Evans; 46096 Valeria Ave; Dos Palos 93620. If you can give, please do so right away.” By rights, Lee should be the M40 WR man at 47.5. He wrote me in June 2006: â€śThank you for your kind words. Iâ€™m considering running again. It is painful as I have arthritis in both knees (not from running, but a fall).â€ť Losing such a legend is unthinkable.
Here’s the original account from three days ago:
SAN JOSE, Calif., Dec. 22 (UPI) — Olympic gold medal sprinter Lee Evans is being treated for a brain tumor in California, a former teammate says.
Evans, who now lives in Nigeria, was visiting a sister in the San Francisco area when the tumor on his pituitary gland was discovered, the San Jose Mercury News reported.
In 1968, Evans, now 63, was one of the “Speed City” runners from San Jose State University. He and his teammates made history with the medals they picked up in Mexico City and with their open political activism. Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who won gold and bronze in the 200 meters, gave Black Power salutes from the podium.
Evans won gold medals in the 400 meters and the 1,600-meter relay in 1968. He and his relay teammates wore black berets like those worn by the Black Panthers during the medal ceremony.
Carlos announced Evans’ illness in an e-mail to other Olympic athletes.
“All of our teammates want to go out and say some prayers,” Carlos said. “There’s not too much we can do but pray.”
Evans, who is married to a Liberian refugee, is trying to raise money for a school outside Monrovia. He moved to Africa to work for the United Nations after leaving his job as a coach at the University of Alabama in 2008.