Fred Evans Gives It Up For His Olympian Sister Aja
By Dan Zinski
Ask Fred Evans who is the most accomplished athlete in his family. He’ll tell you.
It’s not him, even though he’s spent 8 years as a decent defensive tackle in the NFL.
It’s not his cousin Gary Matthews Jr., a one-time major league outfielder known for his flashy defense. It’s not his uncle Gary Sarge Matthews, a former All-Star baseball player with the Cubs and Padres.
Fred will tell you, it’s his sister Aja at the top. She’s in the Olympics in Sochi as a brakeman with the USA bobsled team. That trumps everything else accomplished by the rest of the family, in Fred’s estimation.
“By far, she’s the top,” Evans told Stacy St. Clair of the L.A. Times. “The Olympics are something special to the entire world.…I love what I do and I’m blessed to be an NFL athlete, but my sister is an Olympian. That far exceeds anything anyone else in our family has ever done.”
Fred himself is currently in Sochi rooting on his sister and her pilot Jamie Greubel. Aja and Jamie competed on Tuesday, coming in third in the first two heats. Evans and Greubel still had a shot at silver going into Wednesday’s final runs, just needing to overtake the Canadian team that finished ahead of them on Tuesday.
Fellow Americans Elana Meyers and Lauryn Williams were in line for gold after a record breaking first two heats.
The normally fun-loving Fred – he has been the Vikings’ break dance champion the last couple years – got a little choked up watching his sister warm up before her Tuesday runs.
“I’m feeling a bit emotional,” he said. “I’m just standing here thinking that my sister — my sister — is talented enough to compete at the Olympic level with the best athletes in the world and I’m just extremely proud.”
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