In a followup to the feature story I wrote about Even Evensen a couple of weeks ago and as you may notice in the "New Trackers" item included in this edition, our local Ironman finished seventh at the world championships Saturday in Hawaii.
I enjoyed very much the conversation I had with Even during a visit to his property near Philomath. We talked about his past competitions, including the 2002 incident when he was hit by a vehicle in Florida.
For the details, go see the story on our website or in the Oct. 4 edition. But there was something he told me during the interview that I didn't include in the feature basically because the story was getting to be too long.
At the time, newspapers in Florida were writing about Even and he said one published a photo of him lying in bed with tubes sticking out of him and his wife crying and so on. News of his unfortunate circumstances brought out visits from various religious organizations.
"The day after that article, four or five different people came in from different denominations," Evensen said. "They came in and each one of them said they were sorry this happened and is there anything they can do for me and my wife."
His wife, Gail, received toiletries and some even offered her places to stay during her time in the Panama City, Florida, area.
"I would say, 'thank you very much, but I'm not a religious person' and they said, 'we don't care, we're just here to help you.' That's what every one of them said," Evensen said.
And isn't that just a great story to hear? And I'm sure it's something that continues in most places today. These organizations just want to be there to help a fellow human being in need.
"For a guy that's not a Christian, it was fantastic," Evensen said. "That was a great experience for me."