Welcome back to a normal work week. Sadly, there’s no more Olympic coverage, 24/7 online streaming or reasons to avoid social media avoiding spoilers coming out of London. Don’t worry, we’re all feeling it. There’s no more diving, gymnasts in their sparkling leotards or insanely fast track athletes to occupy our primetime television viewing.
Well, I’m here to help. If you’re feeling a some symptoms of withdrawal don’t worry, I’m sure it’s natural (good thing we have NFL and college football coming up soon, huh?). There’s been some really interesting stories about athletes and their Catholic faith. Here are a couple of the stories found at the Olympic games this year.
Spanish Field Hockey player, Carlos Ballve, is entering a Belgium seminary after competing in the games. After competing in the under-21 word championships for field hockey and coming in third place, he fulfilled his end of a deal he made with God for his success – to visit Medjugore (the site of the Marian apparitions). Since 2005, Ballve has realized the importance of God in his life and asked God for the opportunity to fulfill his dreams of participating in the Olympic games before dedicating his life to the church.
America’s Missy Franklin is considering becoming Catholic citing her Jesuit high school experience. She’s not Catholic, but as a student at Regis Jesuit High School, she realized the importance of God in her life after attending Mass, going on retreats and taking theology classes. In addition, Miss Franklin is most likely going to attend college instead of going pro. She certainly seems like a grounded young woman indeed! Find out more about Missy Franklin here.
And in our very own backyard, local area athlete, Leo Manzano, wins silver in the Men’s Olympic 1500m. Not only is he a University of Texas alumn, but also a member of St. Ignatius Martyr parish in Austin. Read more here.
In perhaps one of the most prominent display of faith, Ethiopian athlete Meseret Defar crossed the finish line at the 5000 meter race and displayed a cloth icon of the Virgin Mary and Christ Child. Defar carried the picture with her for the duration of the race and proudly showed it to the cameras and held it to her face after crossing the finish line. Defar’s display of faith highlights the Christian persecution in the country’s neighbors – Sudan and Somalia.
So, as sad as I am to see the London 2012 Olympics come to a close I can’t wait to see what the next games have in store. (I hate to admit it but my evenings will also be way more productive). What do you think we’ll see in four short years in Brazil?