Evel Knievel Has Health Issues
BUTTE, Mont. (AP) July 29, 2005 — Former daredevil Evel Knievel says health problems are now his biggest hurdle - to the extent that even his wife Krystal is wary to ride on his motorcycle.
"I hate to be Evel Knievel and told by my wife she doesn't want to get on a motorcycle with me," he says.
Knievel, 66, will ride Friday at the fourth annual "Evel Knievel Days" in Montana. Since his wife won't join him, though, Knievel says he may have a blowup doll on the bike with him: "A naked blowup doll."
Knievel says he has been diagnosed with an incurable lung disease and has diabetes and hepatitis. He has constant pain from having steel plates in his back and screws in his ankle, the result of bone-breaking crashes during motorcycle jumps.
But the stuntman says he still loves to ride the motorcycles that made him an icon. However, on a recent outing on a new fuel-injected road machine he had to flag down a passing motorist to help him turn the bike around on a two-lane highway.
Knievel became famous in the 1970s for riding his motorcycle over everything from vehicles to alligators while wearing a red, white and blue jumpsuit. He retired from jumping more than 20 years ago.
Copyright Associated Press 2005. All Rights Reserved.