To God Be the Olympic Glory
It's July, which means we now have less than a month until the 2012 Olympic Games begin in London. The quadrennial celebration of sport and global goodwill kicks off three weeks of swimming, track and field, gymnastics, and team handball on July 27th with an opening ceremony directed by Danny Boyle (of Slumdog Millionaire fame).
Among the female U.S. athletes already gaining attention are the five members of the newly announced women's gymnastics team, including current world champion Jordyn Wieber and gold-medal contender Gabby Douglas, both making their Olympic debuts at age 16. Despite its relative obscurity during non-Olympic years, women's gymnastics has become one of the most popular events of the Summer Games, and former Olympic champions have become household names—who could forget Kerri Strug's final vault in Atlanta, or Mary Lou Retton's perfect 10? More recent Olympians, however, have taken strides to associate their names not just with their gold medals but also with their faith—both Dominique Moceanu (a member of the 1996 gold-medal team) and Shawn Johnson (all-around and team silver medalist in 2008) recently published memoirs detailing not just their experiences in the highly demanding sport but also with their Christian faith.
Lolo Jones is another Olympian who has spoken out about her faith as her Olympic berth in the 100-meter hurdles has given her wider exposure in the past weeks. In an interview for HBO's Real Sports, she told Mary Carillo of her virginity, "It's just a gift I want to give my husband. But please understand this journey has been hard. There's virgins out there and I want to let them know that it's the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. Harder than training for the Olympics. Harder than graduating from college has been to stay a virgin before marriage. I've been tempted, I've had plenty of opportunities." And she credits her decision to remain abstinent to her Christian faith. Like Tim Tebow before her, Lolo is putting a face on the virginity movement that will surely have more people talking about why an attractive, mature woman might make the choice to save herself for marriage.
Responding to Colorado Wildfires
Devastating images of the Colorado wildfires have filled our TV screens and computer monitors since they first began spreading about two weeks ago. Since that time, more than 30,000 people have evacuated their homes and more than 350 homes have burned to the ground. Often we look to the news for points of conversation, but when a natural disaster of this scale disrupts the lives of so many, conversation falls woefully short. We are called to act.