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Evel Knievel The stunt king is planning a motorcycle jump to coincide with next spring's opening of the Evel Knievel Xperience, a restaurant and theme park in Primm, Nev.

June 03, 2002
June 03, 2002

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June 3, 2002

Evel Knievel The stunt king is planning a motorcycle jump to coincide with next spring's opening of the Evel Knievel Xperience, a restaurant and theme park in Primm, Nev.

SI: Can a 63-year-old still be a daredevil?

This is an article from the June 3, 2002 issue

Knievel: Not still be--I am a daredevil. I'm not only the
best-known daredevil on the face of the earth, I'm the oldest.

SI: You used to drink a shot of Wild Turkey before jumping. What
did you do to prepare for this interview?

Knievel: Sometimes I had two or three Wild Turkeys before
jumping. Before the Snake River Canyon jump I had six of them.
For this interview I just had a light beer.

SI: Tell us about your upcoming jump.

Knievel: I'm going to jump somewhere between 20 to 30 big trucks
or buses at either the opening of my Xperience or at some
stadium. Who knows? I might even try it at Yankee Stadium.

SI: Ever do wheelies just for old times' sake?

Knievel: S---, yes. All the time.

SI: Out of the three dozen injuries you suffered, which was the
most painful?

Knievel: The worst one was a broken pelvis, but the pain after a
liver transplant [which Knievel had in 1999] is the worst thing
in the world.

SI: What's it like to be in a coma?

Knievel: How the f--- do I know? I was in a coma.

SI: Why did so many people want to see you jump?

Knievel: Sixty percent were fans, and they just wanted to see
you. Thirty percent wanted to see a bad accident, but they didn't
want to see you die. Ten percent watched just to see you get
killed. Those are the sick people on earth.

SI: Do you laugh at wimpy television shows like Fear Factor and
Survivor?

Knievel: It takes extreme talent to do some of the things those
life riskers do. But why they would do it for the chickens---
money they make is beyond me.

SI: What's the one thing you want people to remember about you
when you leave this world?

Knievel: The finest compliment you can pay a man is that his word
was as good as gold. That's the only thing I ever want them to
say about me.

--Richard Deitsch

COLOR PHOTO: DANA ANDERSON/ALLEN PHOTOGRAPHY (KNIEVEL) "I just had a beer."