Christian Olympians: You Can Be Christian and Competitive

Jerod Clark

I'm a sucker for the Olympics.  I'm not sure why, but for several weeks every two years my evenings consist of my wife and I sitting on the couch and watching an evening full of events.  Like every Olympic year, NBC rolls out a whole shlew of stories featuring athletes and their emotional struggles that led to them being the athletes they are today.  Very rarely do I hear stories of an athlete's faith.  I know it's probably not to the fault of the competitors, but more likely editorial decisions at the peacock network.

Anyway...I came across this video featuring Chad Hedrick. He's a USA speed skater who won the bronze in the 1000m race in Vancouver (to add to his gold, silver and bronze from Torino in 2006).

In the video, he talks about his faith as an athlete and how it can be perceived by others.  He says:

I have guys from the media talking to me all the time and I tell them I want to have a great time, make special memories with my family, and if I go there and give 100 percent and it’s not enough, I know God has a path for me, and that‘s the path that I’m going to follow. They interpret that as: I’m soft, I’ve lost my competitive edge, I’m not very confident. But they really don’t understand; and I’m hoping throughout the Olympics and Vancouver that they see that I am still very competitive, and that you can be a Christian and still be a competitive person.

How about you?  Can it be tough to balance being a Christian and being competitive?  Does knowing if an athlete is Christian change to way you root for them in an event?

(This video came from the website Beyond the Ultimate which has a list of Christian Olympians and features their stories.)

Topics: TV, Culture At Large, Arts & Leisure, Sports, Theology & The Church, Faith, The Church, Home & Family, Family