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Christian Olympians Glorify God in Rio

As the 2016 Rio Olympics end, we’re amazed by the great prowess these athletes showed in each event. We’re reminded that their success was only made possible by our Almighty Creator.

Several Olympians put their faith in God before, during, and after competition. Win or lose, these athletes gave their all for the glory of God.

Helen Maroulis, who won the first gold medal for the United States in women’s wrestling, repeated this mantra throughout her competition, “Christ in me, I am enough.”

U.S. gymnast Laurie Hernandez who suffered several physical setbacks before the Rio Olympics said her faith in God and daily prayers kept her calm and kept her fears at bay.  “Usually, before I salute the judge I’m able to just grab the event and I pray on it and that really grounds me. For some reason, once I do that, I am able to think clearly and I’m able to calm down right before I compete,” she explained.

Swimmer Simone Manuel, who won gold in the women’s 100-meter freestyle, said, “All I can say is all glory to God. It’s definitely been a long journey these past four years. I’m just so blessed to have a gold medal … I’m just so blessed.”

It’s easy to praise God when a person’s successful, but Christian athletes showed that faith in God shouldn’t be relative to one’s success. Faith in God should still be evident even in the midst of failure.

Missy Franklin won five medals, including four golds, during the 2012 London Olympics, but she wasn’t able to do the same in Rio. She won gold as part of the women’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay, but she only swam in the preliminary heat and wasn’t part of the team in the finals. She didn’t even make the finals in her two other events.

“I am just trusting that God has a plan and a purpose and is going to make something beautiful out of this even though I wish I could ask Him what that is going to be right now,” she said.

There are more Christian athletes who proudly proclaim God is the reason behind all of what’s happening with their career. Allyson Felix, the most decorated woman in U.S. track and field history, summarized God’s glory in her tweet.

“When you feel broken. When you have nothing left to give. Remain faithful,” Felix wrote. “Keep fighting. Joy comes in the morning.”

 (2016). Baptist Press. http://www.bpnews.net/47424/olympics-wrapup–god-praised-by-athletes-in-triumph-defeat

Catholic online. (2016). Catholic Online. http://www.catholic.org/news/hf/faith/story.php?id=70397

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