Seven more Olympic athletes who give glory to God


By Les Sillars


Media coverage of the Olympics seldom mentions the faith of the competitors, even though many of these men and women are sincere Christians. Here are brief profiles of seven world-class athletes from the United States whose boldness for Christ is something to cheer about—even if they don’t bring home a medal from the London 2012 Olympic Games, which begin this weekend.


In high school Tervel Dlagnev, 26, who was born in Bulgaria and raised in Arlington, Texas, was an avowed atheist and a troublemaker. But he became a believer through the influence of Christian teammates on his high school and college wrestling teams. Now he collects stuffed animals and his wife, Kirsten, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer, “I feel like he pays a lot of attention and he really cares about knowing, ‘Am I being a good husband? Am I giving you what you need? Am I leading you spiritually? Are there any areas I’m lacking as a husband?’”

Dlagnev has an impressive international record and a good shot at gold in London. “Jesus is my life,” he wrote recently, “and it’s been cool to experience Him through this sport I have a passion for.”


The most dominant basketball team in the world doesn’t have Lebron James. The U.S. women’s team is completely stacked with talent and has several outspoken believers, most notably 6-foot forward Maya Moore, 23. At the University of Connecticut Moore was a two-time national player of the year, played on two NCAA championship teams, and was a part of a 90-game win streak. Last season she was named the WNBA Rookie of the Year as she played for the league champion Minnesota Lynx.

Moore signs her autographs with Colossians 3:23according to Christianity Today, and last season at a Lynx Faith and Family Night, she divided the crowd into three groups to sing “Glory to God Forever.”

“I often use the word ‘free’ to remind myself that God wants me to live my life and compete on the court free in him,” she said. “Free to play great, free to make a mistake, free to learn from them. Of course, I want to win and play well, but no matter the result, I want to look back at the performance knowing I’ve honored the Lord.”



  1. If I was the one who won a medal, my faith had to be play a priority over all because when the dust settles down, game is over, I go back home and I realize that all the excitement and the highs are just for a moment. Jesus is the only friend I can continue to share my joys, my pain, my tears and it is comforting to know to feel that He is always there beside me balancing the high’s and low’s of unexpected events that may come my way. If I lost, He is still number one among other else for giving me the strength, opportunity to visit other places, met other people, made friends and the experience of a lifetime.

  2. Katie Taylor, the Irish female boxer, gave Glory and Thanks to God 3 times during her interview after her quarter final win yesterday (6th Aug). She also kissed her hand and pointed up to Heaven, blowing God our Heavenly Father a kiss. God Bless her always

  3. What about the Ethiopian athletes?? if ever anybody mentions those athletes who give glory to God, I think the Ethiopians are very expressive of their faith.

  4. Good for them. They are not afraid or ashamed to express their belief openly. They have every right to do so. I greatly admire any athlete or entertainer who does this.

  5. I saw quite a few athletes cross themselves – make the Sign of the Cross over their person – before they started their competitions. That was beautiful to see! An open profession of faith in Jesus Christ Savior.

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