Be Inspired by the Olympic Faith of These 15 Christian Athletes
August 19th, 2016 11:40 AM
1. Jenny Simpson – Track & Field (1 bronze)
"In my life, Christ is the most amazing constant because He's always the same, He's never going anywhere, and the value that I have – when I see my life through His eyes and see the value that He gives me – that doesn't change," she wrote on the website Beyond the Ultimate. "Whether I'm a great athlete or whether I decide to retire and become a mom, or if I want to have a different career, my value doesn't change."
2. Trayvon Bromell – Track & Field
"Without God, without faith, I wouldn't be able to run track," Bromell told the Tampa Bay Times earlier this month. "That is what has helped me to get to this point. I've had struggles, not just in track, but in life. Now, I want use the position I'm in to show others that you can achieve anything."
3. Simone Biles – Gymnastics (4 gold, 1 bronze)
In 2013, Biles tweeted: “Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with your talent is your gift back to God.”
4. Maya DiRado – Swimming (2 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze)
“Jesus’ love for me and all humanity is something that always helps me better love people around me when things get difficult,” DiRado told Christianity Today. “As for my swimming career, my faith has helped me remember that there are so many more important things in life worth doing. Swimming is a pretty selfish activity, and so I’ve always known that it can’t be my whole world.”
5. Jordan Burroughs – Wrestling
“I believe that Faith is the most important aspect of our sport and our lives. As a competitor, the first day that we decide to put on a pair of wrestling shoes and step into the center circle and shake hands, we need faith before any victory can ever be earned. I am a strong believer in Christ,” Burroughs wrote on his blog.
6. Gwen Jorgensen – Triathlon (1 gold)
"I really think you just have to keep God as your focal point and know that he is always number one. When you do that, it will help you to gain perspective on everything in life—not just endurance sports."
7. Steele Johnson & David Boudia – Synchronized Diving (1 silver)
"It's just an identity crisis. When my mind is on this [diving], and I'm thinking I'm defined by this, then my mind goes crazy," Boudia told NBC. "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." Johnson chipped in: "The way David just described it was flawless — the fact that I was going into this event knowing that my identity is rooted in Christ and not what the result of this competition is just gave me peace ... and it let me enjoy the contest."
8. Laurie Hernandez – Gymnastics (1 gold, 1 silver)
“I feel that everyday God molds me into someone that He wants me to be. So if that means just, like talking to teammates and helping them out, or like every so often I’ll post a Bible verse on Twitter or Instagram. There was one that I posted recently and I’m thinking it’s my favorite verse. It’s Proverbs 31:25 — She is clothed with dignity and strength and she laughs without fear of the future — when I hear that, that’s me in a Bible verse. I don’t fear the future anymore.”
9. DeAndre Jordan – Basketball (1 gold)
"You see, the most amazing thing about having faith and believing is that once you give yourself to the Lord, you are able to live freely," Jordan wrote in The Cauldron. "You no longer need to worry about what has happened, what might happen, or what you want to happen; you simply need to be a good person and work hard, because you know God has a plan for you."
10. Allyson Felix – Track & Field (2 gold, 1 silver)
“Last night didn't end the way I had dreamed. I'm disappointed. I was quickly reminded of countless reasons to be proud, thankful and grateful,” Felix wrote in an Instagram post. “I fought as hard as I could and gave my all. I'm most proud of never giving up on my dreams in the face of adversity. I'm extremely humbled to now be the most decorated female Olympian in USATF history. All glory to God!”
11. Brady Ellison – Archery (1 silver, 1 bronze)
In a conversation with Belief Net, Ellison stated: “Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Once I put winning in God’s hands, I stopped worrying about that. I just went to tournaments and shot with no fear, doing only the best I can do and leaving the rest up to God.”
12. English Gardner – Track & Field (1 gold)
After a disappointing 100 m race, Gardner said: “At the end of the day, I’m blessed. The only thing I can think about is a lot of people don’t get to come to be in my position. To make it to an Olympic final, to be able to be in contention to get a medal. I was blessed to do that. God has a plan for me but unfortunately this year was not it.”
13. Michelle Carter – Track & Field (1 gold)
"God's blueprint for your life is different than the one you laid out for your life," Carter wrote in a blog post. "Knowing that He has the final say, leave some room for some changes. Go with the flow, because one thing He will never do is leave you during the process."
14. Maya Moore – Basketball (1 gold)
“It’s been a great journey living and seeing the Lord's perfect timing unfold, and I’m still growing,” Moore wrote on the website Beyond the Ultimate. In the big picture, God is going to do what He wants to in my life, and He’s lined my course and given me so many ridiculous opportunities … I’ve also tried to work as hard as I can, taking the gifts He’s given me and living fully in it all. I’ve tried to be an example of someone with a great work ethic that enjoys the journey at the same time.”