It's true that throughout history, the lives of Olympic competitors have served to inspire and challenge us on a personal level. I recently had the privilege through email interviews, to get acquainted with some the Christian athletes bound for Beijing this summer. As I read their answers, my own faith was stirred by these young role models. I have compiled the responses of these inspiring Christian athletes into faith profiles that are sure to encourage your faith!
Bryan Clay earned a silver medal in the 2004 Olympics and now has his eyes set on winning the gold in Beijing. He has traveled a long way from his troubled and rebellious teen years to become a successful Christian athlete. A true role model, Bryan now provides an opportunity for underprivileged students to change their lives and futures through his scholarship foundation. He credits two things for redirecting his course: his success in sports, which led him to a Christian college, and his acceptance of Jesus Christ and the Christian faith.
Allyson Felix has already accomplished a lot at a young age. During her teens she was labeled the fastest girl on the planet. As a Christian athlete, she has set some very high goals, such as winning multiple gold medals at the Beijing Summer Olympics. Yet, there's another finish line Allyson has her eyes set on in this life, and therefore, becoming more Christ-like is a daily goal. Growing up in a strong Christian home with a pastor as a father, Allyson is not afraid to stand up for her faith, which she says is the most important aspect of her life.
Diana Lopez is following in her older brothers' footsteps. Steven already has two Olympic gold medals in Taekwondo and will be competing with his sister in Beijing. As Christian athletes they understand the meaning of teamwork. The "First Family" of Taekwondo has competed together since childhood. Brother Mark is also bound for Beijing this summer and older brother Jean is their family coach. Because of their strong family bond and Christian faith, Diana says she receives the support, strength and courage she needs to contend at such an intense Olympic level.
Sanya Richards, a Christian athlete who may be the fastest female runner in the world, hasn't let success go to her head. Engaged to Super Bowl Champion, Aaron Ross, and in the running for a gold medal in the Beijing Summer Olympics, Sanya is living her dreams. Her list of achievements is long and impressive, yet she stays grounded through her strong Christian faith. Humbly, Sanya gives God all the credit for granting her the strength to attain amazing accomplishments as a Christian athlete.
Donny Robinson won the 2006 National Bicycle League Championship and the 2007 USA Cycling BMX National Championship. Now, for the first time in Olympic history, BMX bicycling will be a competitive sport at the 2008 games, and Donny is determined to win a gold medal. Not only is he passionate about racing, Donny is passionate about his faith in Christ. As a Christian athlete, his infectious faith spills over into everything he does, revealing a relationship with God that forms the foundation of his zeal for life.
Laura Wilkinson, a gold medalist in women's platform diving in 2000, is a Christian athlete who possesses determination and an enthusiastic personality. For the 2008 Summer Olympics, at age 30, Laura will be competing against much younger divers with one of the most difficult dives in the world. She is a deeply committed Christians who says her relationship with God is her highest priority.