The 2016 Rio Summer Olympics is currently the center of the world’s attention, and its many outstanding athletes are great examples of what dedication, hard work, and faith can accomplish. While these great performers have all demonstrated faith in themselves, four outstanding athletes at these Olympic Games have openly and proudly gone a step further by openly and publicly proclaiming their faith in Christ.
American divers David Boudia and Steele Johnson, who earned Silver medals, have openly spoken of their Christian faith and belief that Christ is the center and purpose of all that they have accomplished. In fact, both men insist that they wish to be defined much more by their faith and dedication to serving Christ than for their athletic accomplishments.
Speaking of accomplishments, openly professing Catholics Simone Biles and Katie Ledecky are behind only swimming legend Michael Phelps as the stars of this event.
Biles entered the games in the conversation as one of the greatest gymnasts of all time, and her domination so far has only strengthened the argument in her favor. Biles earned four gold medals and one silver, matching the most gold medals ever won by an Olympic gymnast at a single Olympic Games.
Like Simone Biles, swimmer Katie Ledecky entered these games with great aspirations and pressure, being called the world’s greatest athlete by numerous experts and, like Biles, has dominated her events. Expected to earn numerous gold medals, Ledecky has more than met those expectations, winning four gold and one silver.
Both Biles and Ledecky have cemented themselves as record-breaking, historic athletes, but that is not their greatest accomplishment. These two incredible athletes are very vocal and openly practicing Catholics. Biles has revealed that she always carries a rosary in her bag, and Ledecky has publicly stated that she prays a Hail Mary or two before each event.
Biles has revealed that she is devoted to Saint Sebastian, the patron saint of athletes, and that she is a regular churchgoer, lighting a candle beneath the statue of her favorite saint before big events. Ledecky says that her Catholic faith is very important to her and is part of her identity. She feels that her faith keeps her grounded and that faith and prayer help her manage and excel in her athletic life. Ledecky is grateful to the sisters of the convent school where she studied, who she credits with forming the person that she has become.
A catechist is defined as one who teaches the principles of Christian faith by word and action, and Catholic catechists are living examples of the mission of spreading Catholic teaching and doctrine by what they say and do. The above four outstanding athletes are proof positive that one can be a role model of the faith while soaring and spinning in the air as well as by soaring and spinning with enthusiasm for Christ. They are a shining example that serving Our Lord is a greater accomplishment than any medal can ever be.
2016 Gabriel Garnica