Over five million people are expected to attend the world’s biggest sporting spectacle – the London 2012 Olympics – which runs from July 27 to August 12.
Whether we are into competitive activities or not, sport is a metaphor for life which everyone can relate to. It speaks of individuals setting themselves a goal, strategising, training and pushing themselves to reach their goal – despite the obstacles they might face along the way – so that they are in a position to win a prize. Is this not something we all do?
One of the most moving stories I’ve heard, about an athlete achieving his ambition to make the 2012 Olympics, is that of 23-year-old Bryshon Nellum. Four years ago, the aspiring athlete was shot in both of his legs by a gang.
Desperate to overcome the doctors’ prognosis that he would never be a world class athlete, Bryshon subjected himself to an intense rehabilitation and training regime, coupled withsurgery so that he would be fit for competitive sport. His determination has paid off, because he came third in the USA Olympic trials for the 400m, and won a place in the team.
In an interview with NBC, Bryshon shared his journey to peak fitness stating, “I was running for a while in practice on one leg. I was like a baby. I had to learn how to crawl before I learned how to walk before I learned how to run. I had a lot of rough times. It was hard coming back. I just kept my faith in God and took things day by day. I stayed consistent and I stayed dedicated.”
As London prepares itself for the Games, let’s learn the key life lessons that the 2012 Olympics presents to us: that life is a race. We all run it at an individual pace; God will give us the strength and grace we need to run it but, unlike the Olympics, everyone gets a prize if they cross the finishing line.
Read on to find out how the Olympics is influencing some members of the Christian community to reach out and touch the lives of others.