Posts Tagged ‘ winter olympics ’

Freestyle Skier, David Wise, Wants to Show People that ‘God Created Us All With the Potential to Enjoy His World’ (Gospel Light Minute #138)

David Wise

David Wise

He is an American freestyle skier. He won the gold medal at the Winter X Games #16 in the SuperPipe in 2012, 2013, and 2014. He also won gold at the 2013 FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships. Most recently, at 23-years-old, he went to the winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and returned home with a gold medal in Men’s Halfpipe.

He became a Christian as a teenager and his faith is an important part of how he sees himself as a competitor and athlete. He said, “For me, if you’re going to go so far as to believe something, then it really should be a big part of whom you are. So, whenever I’m out there skiing, I try to be the same person as a skier as I am in church on Sundays. I try to be the same in everything that I do. I really feel blessed and fortunate to be a part of such a cool sport.” He added that his dream is to “take what I love to do and inspire other people…Show people that the world is beautiful. Yes, there’s ugliness mixed in, but God created us all with the potential of enjoying this place.”

He and his wife run the youth group at their church in Nevada and he said he could even see himself as “a pastor of a church at some point.” “If that’s the way it works out, or if that’s God’s plan for my life, then that’s something I’d be totally okay with, but if not, then I’ll do whatever else comes.” In the meantime, he runs a non-profit fund called the Clean Water Project, which aims to provide clean drinking water to people in Malawi.

His name is David Wise.

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Olympic Speedskater Jilleanne Rookard: Christ Gives her ‘Courage to Chase a God-Sized Dream’ (Gospel Light Minute #137)

Jilleanne Rookard

Jilleanne Rookard

She is an American speed skater who has competed in the sport since 2006. She was named to the U.S. team for the 2010 Winter Olympics and reached 12th place in the 3000 meter competition and 8th place in the 5000 meter competition. She won the 3,000-meter women’s speedskating event at the Olympic Trials in Salt Lake City, Utah, on December 27, 2013. She is currently competing with the U.S. Olympic team in Sochi, Russia, at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

When she started training for the Olympics in 2006, she had every reason to give up. For two years, she had to search for the right coach, had very little financial support, and had to work to pay for groceries, rent, and coaching. On top of that, her father passed away in 2001, and her mother began undergoing chemo treatments before passing away soon after. Many people around her expected her to quit and give up on her dreams, but she had her faith in God to rely on.

She said, “I had accepted Christ just before I made the decision to train for the Olympics in ice speed skating in 2006. I was training at a gym and I started pouring out some of my troubles to a woman. Without hesitation, she asked me if I would like to pray. We prayed right then and there on the floor at the gym. I said yes, and that is when the magic started to happen. It goes to show that God is everywhere! God is on the floor of my local gym and He is in my bedroom at 3 a.m. when I am pouring my life out to Him!”

Her faith is a source of strength and inspiration for the times when she feels like giving up. She said, “it was strange that God didn’t solve all of my problems. But it seemed as though He was giving me the strength to handle more!” She had to remind herself every day why she was pursuing her dream. She told herself that whether she succeeded or failed, she would learn something. She said, “I realize that it’s not about me at all. It’s about finishing what I started… I’ve just kept growing since the time I accepted Christ, and it’s not anything sudden. I realize now that I’m never going to stop learning.” She thanks God every day for the lessons He has taught her in her journey. Even with the risks of moving, training, and uncertain outcomes, she says there is one thing she has learned, and that is: “Success is not defined by the outcome, but by the courage it takes to chase God-sized dreams.”

Her name is Jilleanne Rookard.

Bobsledder Elana Meyers: Win or Lose, ‘I’m in this Sport to Glorify God’ (Gospel Light Minute with Daniel Whyte III)

Elana Meyers

Elana Meyers

She is an American bobsledder who has competed in the sport since 2007. She won the silver in the bobsled two-woman event with Shauna Rohbock at the 2009 FIBT World Championships in Lake Placid, New York. Named to the U.S. team in 2010, she along with Erin Pac won the bronze medal at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. In 2013, she and brake-woman Katie Eberling won the silver at the FIBT World Championships in St. Moritz. She is currently competing in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Though she always dreamed of being an Olympian, it wasn’t an easy road to get there. Before taking up bobsledding, she was the first softball recruit at George Washington University and quickly set nearly every offensive record. However, she said, “My sophomore year, our softball team was doing really badly and our season ended up getting canceled. So, that being the center of my life, I got really depressed. I didn’t know what to do and I didn’t know what my purpose was. I just started researching religions. Something inside of me told me I needed more than this.” While reading a book about spiritual things over Christmas break, she became overwhelmed with emotion, and said of that time, “It hit me that Jesus is the way. I can’t explain it by anything other than that. It was so strong and powerful; I knew that I needed to change my life.” When she returned to George Washington University, she began to understand what it means to be a Christ-follower. She joined Athletes in Action, began studying the Word, and growing in her faith.

In 2003, she was invited to try out for the 2004 Olympic softball team but the experience did not go well; she says she “crashed and burned.” After retiring in 2007, she took up bobsledding and she has worked hard to become one of the top female bobsledders in the country. After winning the bronze in 2010, she said, “To walk away with a medal was the accomplishment of a lifelong dream. It’s hard to put into words how incredible that experience was. That’s one of those moments when you know how real God is. I think I won that medal to glorify Him. One of the big reasons I was put in bobsled is to help people not only reach their goals, but come to Christ. God put me here for a specific reason and I don’t think it’s just to win medals. At the end of the day, I’m in this sport to glorify God, so if that means I come in last place or I win the gold medal, that’s what I’m going to do.”

Her name is Elana Meyers.

GLMX #183: Perfection on Ice

perfectiononice

The 2014 Winter Games are underway in Sochi, Russia, right now. All of the competitions are exciting and thrilling. But one of the competitions that is not only exciting and thrilling, but completely beautiful to watch, is speed skating.

The precision and grace of the sport often leave us in awe of those who take to the ice to master it. While those who compete on the Olympic level make it look easy, many years of hard work, training, and discipline are behind the few minutes of perfection on ice that make up a competition that is incredibly inspiring to watch.

Each of us strive for perfection in some area of our lives. Students desire perfect grades, moms and dads want to be perfect parents, and businesspeople want profit trajectories to consistently go up. Even though we may obtain something close to perfection in one or more of these areas in our lives, there is one area in which we will always fall short — and that is the area of moral behavior. Even the most disciplined person who strives to do what is right in every situation will often stumble in sin and immorality. As the Bible says, “there is none righteous, no, not one.”

We may see our sins as small infractions, but we shouldn’t. The reason why is because even the smallest of infractions is all it takes to separate us from our Creator who demands perfection from his creation. Yes, God’s requirement is that you and I be perfect in order to fellowship with Him.

“That’s impossible!” you say. “Everybody makes mistakes sometimes.”

Yes, everybody does make mistakes — even speed skaters. All of us, at some point in our lives, have sinned. In fact the Bible says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” This means that we cannot have the fellowship with God that we would like to have. This also means that we are destined for eternal punishment and separation from God in an awful place called Hell.

All is not lost, however! The good news is that our Creator made a way for us — yes, us with all of our imperfections — to still have a relationship with Him. He did this by sending His perfect Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to take upon Himself the punishment that we deserved for our sins. Romans 5:8 says, “But God commendeth (or showed) his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” For a moment in time, God turned his back on His own Son and poured out His wrath on Him so that we could be eternally saved. It was the perfect sacrifice.

MUSICAL SELECTION:”Perfect People” by Natalie Grant

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