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Evans Also Carried Torch of Secrecy

July 21, 1996|LARRY STEWART

The day before the opening ceremonies, Janet Evans coyly told Channel 4's Fred Roggin she might not participate, that rather than march with the U.S. athletes Friday night, she might sit in the stands.

Well, as the world knows today, Evans not only participated in the opening ceremonies, she played a major role. She was the athlete selected to take the Olympic torch on its final leg around Olympic Stadium and up a ramp to Muhammad Ali, who had the honor of lighting the torch.

Roggin caught up to Evans on Saturday and asked, "Any more fibs to tell me?"

Evans, smiling broadly, said, "I told more lies last week than I've told in my entire life."

Evans, the only U.S. woman to win four Olympic swimming gold medals, said she was terrified.

"I can swim, but I can't run," she said. "I thought for sure I'd just fall over while running around the track."

Evans, who will compete in the 400-meter and 800-meter freestyle, said the trek was quite an ordeal.

"Afterward, my calves were killing me. I had to have them rubbed down."

"Any more secrets?" she was asked.

"No more secrets. All I want to do now is go out and swim some good races."

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