Originally published in Baptist Press
The US trials for the London 2012 Summer Olympics are showcasing not only premier athletic talent but faith. Many team hopefuls have been pointing to the heavens and citing their reliance on God.
Among them is Brittany Viola, who credits God for her success in making the Olympic diving team and says she hopes God will use her to share His love and truth with the world.
“Through faith and taking God’s Word as truth, I have performed and accomplished more than I could have ever hoped for or imagined,” Viola said, according to Beliefnet.com. “I expect God to use His children … to touch the hearts and lives of thousands of athletes, spectators and individuals all over the world with His unimaginable love, acceptance, forgiveness and hope.”
Chante Lowe, who set a meet record of 6-7 in making the high jump team, said when you see her dancing on the track, she’s not just working her muscles.
“I’m praising the Lord, and that’s really where I get a lot of my praise and worship in is right there on the high-jump apron,” she told USA Today. Lowe broke the meet record of 6-6½ that Louise Ritter set in 1988.
Jennifer Nichols, on the way to her third Olympics as an archer, recites to herself Scripture she has memorized and keeps a tiny book of Bible verses in her quiver.
“I take comfort in knowing that I’m here because the Lord brought me here and having a purpose in what purpose He has for me, not necessarily knowing where He’s going to take me,” she told USA Today, “but the excitement of knowing that there is a plan. I’m excited to be able to offer whatever I can to be able to glorify the Lord in what I do.”
Nichols said she gets a better shot by reciting Scripture.
“I memorize a lot of Scripture to recite while I’m shooting,” she said. “I carry a little book in my quiver that has Bible verses that I memorize as I’m walking back and forth to the target. And sometimes I’ll recite them while I’m on the line shooting. It plays a large part.”