Two weeks ago, I wrote about the surprising number of Christians who participate in the Olympics.
They were not shy about their faith, and they were not afraid to give God all the glory for their Olympic wins.
Shelly and I watched some of the games and saw winners giving glory to God and thanks to Jesus.
Here are more athletes who are not ashamed of the Gospel who participated in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
- Shaunae Miller, a sprinter from the Bahamas, is taking home the gold in the women’s 4—meter race.
“I just give God the thanks and praise. He has brought me so far. It is such an emotional moment for me, but I just give God the thanks and praise.”
- Maya DiRado, a swimmer from the United States, was an underdog going into the games, but she took home the gold for the 200-meter backstroke.
Evangelist Franklin Graham noticed not just her pluck and charm, but also that her “winning attitude goes far beyond swimming.”
What makes her a champion for the faith? That God is her main focus: “I don’t think God really cares about my swimming very much. This is not my end purpose, to make the Olympic team. I think God cares about my soul and whether I’m bringing His love and mercy into the world.”
- Trayvon Bromwell, competing with Team USA in Track and Field, faced a setback which would put most athletes out of the running: he tore his Achilles tendon.
But God had other plans for him, and this year he’s competing! On his Twitter profile, you will find John 3:30: “He must increase, but I decrease.”
- Missy Franklin, also a swimmer for Team USA, qualified for the 2008 Olympics at the incredible age of 13. She qualified again in 2012, and a third time for Rio for an unprecedented 7 events!
And she gives all glory to God! “God is present at the Olympic games. I know God will be there and I hope many of the people there will also feel His presence.”
- Steele Johnson, TEAM USA Men’s Synchronized swimming, silver medal winner, suffered a near-fatal accident during his early training.
“I had an incredibly long and tough journey to get to this moment, but it was all worth it. The fact that God gave me the ability to stick with it and persevere and not have fear and anxiety about diving, it all worked out in the end.”
And even in those tense moments when fear starts to rise up, Johnson recites his favorite verse Philippians 4: 6: “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
- Jake Dalton—gymnast for Team USA, a four-time world medalist and national winner—wears his faith openly, tattooed on his skin. One bears the picture of two hands praying. The other has Philippians 4:13—“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
- Laurie Hernandez, gold medal gymnast for Team USA, has endured it all: dislocated kneecaps, fractured elbow and wrist, turn patellar tendon, and dental injuries which prevented her from eating for an entire month.
But she has been “more than a conqueror” (Romans 8: 37), and she owes a lot of it to prayer, and the Bible verses her mother Wanda sends her: “She’ll send my Bible verses in the morning—she always does—she’s always reminding me not to forget to pray. If you don’t start your day off with God, then why are you doing anything today?”
Did I forget any other star athletes who proclaim Jesus publically? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org