Christian Athletes in the 2012 Olympics

The 2012 Summer Games are in full swing and we’ve got Olympics fever here at What’s in the Bible?! Our free Summer Olympics Family Fun Pack is available for download here and we hope the fun family activities are a blessing to your family this summer.

The Olympics celebrate the best in human beings – extraordinary physical talent, discipline, teamwork and confidence. It is so easy to focus on the individual accomplishments of each athlete, to turn them into cultural idols and heroes. Yet it is so important to remember and recognize the gifts and talents that each athlete was given by his or her Creator.

There are many Olympic athletes who acknowledge their faith and their relationships with God as the driving force behind their successes. As you watch the Summer Games with your family, we encourage you to point out these athletes and talk to your kids about why it is important to keep God at the center of everything we do.

Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.” Pray for all of the athletes at this summer’s Olympic games, as well as the referees, coaches, volunteers and Olympic staff.

Here are some of this year’s Olympic athletes who aren’t afraid to speak out about their faith. Do you know of any others? Feel free to share stories about them in the comments.

Lolo Jones {track & field}

“I listen to a lot of Christian music, and reading my Bible calms me down immensely. But when I’m standing in a stadium packed with 80,000 screaming fans, I can’t just whip out my Bible before I run. That’s when I start praying! It’s so loud that I can’t even hear what I’m saying, but it always helps.” (Interview with Women’s Health)

Sanya Richards-Ross {track & field}

“There are so many meaningful verses to me in the Bible, but I guess the one I say to myself most often is, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” That’s my favorite because on the track, I am usually trying to do things that have rarely been done before. I know that it’s only God that gives me the strength to accomplish these things.” (Interview with About.com)

Jonathan Horton  {gymnastics}

The night before the US men competed in the team all-around final, veteran Olympian Jonathan Horton tweeted James 1:2-4: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (Twitter)

Horton told Beliefnet.com “As my training got more difficult and as I was trying to balance school and what my friends wanted me to do with gymnastics, I had to turn to God. My faith grew tremendously. Now that I’m married, my wife and I can work together and push each other in our growth with the Lord. My gymnastics has gotten better. My faith has gotten stronger. God is number one in my life and He’s the reason that I have the success that I’ve had.”

Missy Franklin {swimming}

“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.” (Interview with Beliefnet.com)

Gabby Douglas {gymnastics}
Here is a video of Gabby Douglas speaking at Valley Church about her faith in God.

 

 

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Planet Sport
Planet Sport

We're Planet Sport, reporting from London and covering the 2012 Olympics from a Christian perspective. We have several interviews with Christian Olympians on our website, including: Khadevis Robinson, Bryan Clay, Brigetta Barret, and Olympic Champion Madeline Manning Mims. Feel free to use our interviews and share these athletes' testimonies!

Tiffany
Tiffany

Allyson Felix is also a Christian (track and field)

C
C

World Vision has been running a series on olympian Lopez Lomong from South Sudan (now a US citizen). His story is inspiring!