August 23, 2014
2012: London Olympics
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God calls couple out of retirement to Olympics
LONDON (BP) -- Bill and Lucy Pat Curl have been married for more than 50 years and had retired from international missions, but that didn't stop them from pursuing their own unique calling to the Summer Games.
USA diver Boudia, surprising gold medalist, credits his faith
LONDON (BP) -- A 12-year-old David Boudia stood on the 10-meter diving platform for the first time, terrified to plunge into the water below.
"My faith is the most important thing in my life, and this is what's brought me through this 2012 Games."
That's the equivalent of a three-story building. The fear was understandable. "It took me the longest time. It took bribes from my mother," Boudia said. "It took so long for me to get over that fear, but it had to be done if I wanted to accomplish dreams." Boudia doesn't have to dream anymore. The 23-year-old U.S. diver unexpectedly won Olympic gold in the men's 10-meter platform event Saturday (Aug. 11). His 568.65 points edged China's Qui Bo (566.85 points) and Great Britain's Thomas Daley (556.95 points) to give the United States its first gold medal in men's diving since Greg Louganis in 1988. Baptist Press previously featured a story on Boudia and his Christian walk. (Read it at "Just looking back on this journey, it's amazing to think where I was in 2008 to where I am now," Boudia told NBC's Al Michaels in a Sunday (Aug. 12) interview. "My faith is the most important thing in my life, and this is what's brought me through this 2012 Games." The medal was Boudia's second of the Olympics, after he and Nick McCrory won bronze in the men's 10-meter synchronized diving event. "The craziest thing is, I didn't watch the competition at all, so I had no idea where I was placed," Boudia told Michaels. "Going into my last dive, I had no idea it was as close as it was with the top three. I was just doing what I normally do in practice."
Olympics see huge Baptist outreach in London
LONDON -- "We lit the flame and lit up the world."       Doug Shaw had to smile a little when London 2012 chairman Lord Coe closed the Olympics with those words Aug. 12.
FIRST PERSON: Spiritual lessons in London
LONDON (BP) -- Columnist Tim Ellsworth says the Olympics were replete with stories of Christian athletes who were inspiring for their stance on faith.
Ex-communist rebel shares Christ at Olympics
LONDON (BP) -- José Cárcamo learned the ways of a communist rebel a long time ago. Committed to the cause, he studied in Chile, Cuba and Russia.       But his activism didn't change his life the way he thought it would.
Church planters in Russia prep for '14 Games
Taekwondo athlete relates to talents parable
LONDON (BP) -- Paige McPherson may be the one on the mat in the taekwondo competition during the Olympics, but her family in the audience is also a huge part of her success.
Olympics meant giant workload for London
LONDON -- To prepare a city even as sophisticated as London for a concentrated influx of hundreds of thousands of international visitors and athletes is a massive undertaking.
WRAP-UP: 'Preacher's kid' Felix wins gold
LONDON (BP) -- Allyson Felix finally got her gold. After winning silver in the 200-meter sprints in Athens and Beijing, Felix raced to her first individual gold medal in London Wednesday (Aug. 8), easily winning the event in 21.88 seconds.
U.S. wrestler open about faith, on & off mat
LONDON (BP) -- In qualifying for the U.S. wrestling Olympics team, Sam Hazewinkel did more than just fulfill a lifelong dream.       He made history, both for himself and for his dad.
Olympic Park area home to incredible diversity
U.S. gold medalist Gabby Douglas: 'glory goes' to God
LONDON (BP) -- Gabby Douglas will soon have more money than she ever dreamed.
"God has given me this awesome talent to represent Him. Glory goes up to Him, and the blessings fall down on us."
With a vibrant smile and two gold medals to her credit at the Olympics, the 16-year-old gymnast undoubtedly will cash in with endorsement and marketing deals worth millions of dollars. At the top of her wish list? An Acura NSX. "I want the one like Iron Man's off 'The Avengers,'" Douglas said. "That was a nice car." The fame and fortune that Douglas instantly captured may make some things easier, but they won't remove the difficulties from her life. When she faces such struggles, she turns to Scripture. "God has given me this awesome talent to represent Him. Glory goes up to Him, and the blessings fall down on us," Douglas said Aug. 5 in a press conference at the North Greenwich Arena. When she's learning something new that may seem intimidating, she tells herself, "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of peace, love and a sound mind," she said. When she's having trouble perfecting a skill, she quotes, "All things are possible through Him." "You just mentally quote that, and it builds your faith up so much," Douglas said. "God will never fail you. He's always on your side." Her first Tweet after winning the individual all-around read simply, "Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me." Before Douglas left for London, Quintin Stieff, pastor of the Valley Church where she attends in West Des Moines, Iowa, likened her to a light that should shine to draw attention to God. Douglas shared her testimony with the congregation.
Olympian Brittany Viola 'diving for the Lord'
LONDON (BP) -- At 15, American Brittany Viola thought she wasn't good enough to be one of the top divers in the world because she didn't look the part.       The young diver had been given an opportunity to train with Laura Wilkinson, the best diver in Viola's event at the time (and a former Olympic gold medalist).
Cultural Gospel: more than language
LONDON (BP) -- Her job isn't normal. She frequently heads into the African Bush armed with a sketchpad, pencils and paintbrushes.
U.S. triathlete says God healed him of injury
LONDON (BP) -- A swimmer lagging behind the field at a triathlon competition in Myrtle Beach, S.C., in October ran to his bike for the second stage of an event.       A race referee should have stopped him before he darted onto the road where the other athletes were already speeding along on their bikes. ...

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