6 Inspiring Quotes From Christian Olympians Glorifying God
Written by Brittney Moses | August 22, 2016
With the Rio Olympic games ending, we want to acknowledge a few athletes who have been shining their light for all to see. These Olympians are the epitome of what the scriptures say about going for the prize—not just in this world, but for the Kingdom!
Don’t you realize that in a race, everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. (1 Corinthians 9:24-25)
Here are six Olympians who are inspiring our faith!
Gabby’s expression of faith has been pretty well known since the gymnast hit the scene, and we love her for it! She said: “I love sharing my story and I love sharing about my faith. God has given me this amazing God-given talent, so I’m going to go out and glorify His name.”
“Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me.”
—Gabrielle Douglas (@gabrielledoug), August 2, 2012
Recently when NBC asked the diving champ what winning an Olympic medal with his diving partner, Steele Johnson, meant to him, David replied: “There’s been an enormous amount of pressure. I’ve felt it…it’s just an identity crisis. When my mind is on [diving], and I’m thinking I’m defined by this, then my mind goes crazy. But we both know that our identity is in Christ, and we’re thankful for this opportunity to be able to dive in front of Brazil and in front of the United States. It’s been an absolutely thrilling moment for us.”
One of America’s famous runners, Ryan Hall, is open about the intersection of talent and faith! According to The New York Times, Hall has an entire routine that keeps God central when it comes to his personal training:
“Hall said that God spoke to him regularly, giving him training plans, even a race strategy for the London Olympics. He does not hear a voice; rather, he will pray or scroll through workouts in his head and a heightened thought will give him a sense of peace, grace, empowerment. Or a passage from the Bible will seem particularly relevant and urgent. Hall is still learning to distinguish his own thoughts from what he believes are God’s words to him. And sometimes, he has done workouts that in retrospect seem unwise—a thigh-shredding hill run in Flagstaff, a bicycle time trial a week after the Boston Marathon.
“But Hall has also found biblical reinforcement for his training. He takes one day off a week, just as God rested on the seventh day. Every seven weeks, for restoration he runs only once a day instead of twice, an allusion to Exodus 23:11 and the admonition that farmers should leave their fields fallow every seventh year.”
Olympian Missy Franklin has been known to swim with faith! This four-time gold medalist and record-breaking athlete shared in an interview with BeliefNet: “God is always there for me. I talk with Him before, during and after practice and competitions…I pray to Him for guidance. I thank Him for this talent He has given me and promise to be a positive role model for young athletes in all sports.”
Nick Willis has been at the top of the track and field game for over a decade. At the London Olympic games, he made it clear that his faith is in God, not Olympic medals: “Before I embraced my understanding of God and actually formed a relationship with Him, my whole motivation for becoming a great athlete was to be significant to my peers…and being somebody important… [when] I understood who I was in God, and how He created me to love me for who I am and not for what I do, that freed me from a lot of those empty, non-sustaining motives for doing my sport.”
Olympic archer Brady Ellison, on team USA, is a devout Christian in the game who, according to CBN, has openly proclaimed: “While for a long time archery has been a very big part of what I do, my identity is in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ… Since I am confident that He is in control and has a plan for my life, I am able to give my best and let the rest lie in His hands. He has given me the talents and abilities that I possess; He has taught me to love those around me and what it means to push hard.”