In spite of the various controversies which surrounded this year’s Summer Olympics before and during the events, there have been a lot more positive stories that came out of Rio. And one of those things was that despite great odds, God’s grace always shined through.
And how cool was it that many of the athletes this year were unashamed to speak up about their faith and belief in Jesus Christ! These athletes were decorated in not just gold, but in God’s glory. The Today Show would usually interview these athletes following an event to get their reactions to winning gold or dealing with a challenge, difficulty, etc. It was refreshing to see some of these athletes not just count their accomplishments, but count their blessings as well.
Now even though the original Olympic games were organized tributes to the Greek gods of the ancient world, these modern Olympics we have become accustomed to have transitioned into a stage for our God to display His awesome power through so many incredibly talented athletes.
Here are just a handful that I took note of recently. And these aren’t just the only ones. God was hard at work in many gifted men and women this year!
First U.S. Female Wrestler to Win Gold
Here is a recent interview with American gold-medalist Helen Maroulis on her major upset over Japan’s Saori Yoshida. Her mantra—Christ in me, I am enough.
Displays True Olympic Spirit on the Racetrack
New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin and USA’s Abbey D’Agostino were in the middle of the 5000m qualifying heat, when they suddenly collided into each other on the racetrack. Instead of leaving her opponent behind, D’Agostino picked up her fellow racer and they finished the race together. Even with a torn ACL, D’Agostino demonstrated true Olympic spirit and lent a helping hand. In this interview with Today Show co-host Matt Lauer, he asks her where that instinct comes from. Her response—“I don’t think that was me. I think that was literally the spirit of God in me, like ‘Let’s go.'”
Blessed with Speed to Spread the Word of Christ
After watching the fastest man alive, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt accomplish the “triple triple”—(winning the 100m individual, the 200m individual and 4x100m relay races in the last three Olympics) I saw him make a motion towards the sky in one of them. I thought to myself, is Bolt a Christian? Turns out he is, and always give praise to God for his ability. In fact, he even acknowledges it as a platform to spread the Gospel, even if some media outlets try to downplay it.
What are some of your favorite moments during the games? Send me a note and let me know what inspired you!