Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Elana Meyer: Greatness displayed without a paddle
Olympic Champions Series
By Jeremy Dover, A Press Service International voluntary Comment writer for Christian Today Australia
Special to ASSIST News Service
LONDON, UK (ANS) -- Elana Meyer, the great distance runner from South Africa, has impacted the sport and the Olympics far beyond the track. Meyer won silver at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics in the women’s 10,000 meters. She was forced out of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics through injury, but bounced back to represented her country again at the Sydney Olympics, finishing 8th in the final.
How to handle the pressure?
With so much attention on her in South Africa, how did she cope with the pressure of big meets, like the Olympics? She explains, “Prior to every race I ask the Lord to use me as would seem best to him. Then having asked that of him, whether it goes well with me or not, the result will be the best. I can be content with that.”
Her Christian faith and running were linked together. God was not just for Sundays but was part of her everyday duties, including her training.
She ran a victory lap with Ethiopian gold medallist Derartu Tulu. This simple act spoke volumes as a symbol of racial harmony for a country that was on a journey of reconciliation. The gesture was beamed around the world as an example of unity.
Meyer’s greatest gift, however, is the one she has been given by God: a restored relationship with God through Jesus. Her running was just an expression of this gift of grace. “Athletics is just a gift, but without the Lord I would not have accomplished anything on my own.”
Jeremy Dover is a former sport scientist, now chaplain & pastor. He is a regular Press Service International correspondent and lives in Melbourne, Australia. His previous articles may be viewed at: http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/jeremy-dover.html
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