2016: Rio Olympics

Found 20 stories for this story collection.
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  • Olympics: U.S. volleyball player seeks God amid trials

    by Tim Ellsworth, posted Thursday, August 11, 2016 (2 years ago)

    Photos courtesy of FIVB
    RIO DE JANEIRO (BP) -- Micah Christenson spent the past year playing professional volleyball in Italy. Sound like fun?

    He thought so, too, until he got there. He couldn't speak the language and was living alone for the first time in a foreign country. He didn't have any friends on the team. And then he got sick the first week.

    "I'm throwing up, and I'm sitting in my apartment alone," he told Baptist Press. "I'm like, man, this is a lot harder than I thought. I can't talk to anybody because there's a language barrier. I can't ask somebody where the eggs are in the grocery store." Read More

  • Olympics: Nightly prayers keep skeet shooter's focus on God

    by Tim Ellsworth, posted Wednesday, August 10, 2016 (2 years ago)

    Photo courtesy of USA Shooting
    RIO DE JANEIRO (BP) -- Vincent Hancock was so fed up with skeet shooting in 2011 that he almost quit.

    Despite winning gold in skeet shooting in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Hancock had lost his love for the sport. After a horrible World Cup competition in Slovenia -- his worst finish ever -- he called his wife Rebekah to tell her he wanted to quit.

    "No, don't do that," Rebekah told him. "Just get home. Let's talk about it. Let's pray about it." Read More

  • Olympics: Diving duo wins silver, gives credit to Christ

    by Tim Ellsworth, posted Tuesday, August 09, 2016 (2 years ago)

    Photo by Tim Ellsworth
    RIO DE JANEIRO (BP) -- U.S. divers David Boudia and Steele Johnson have known each other for 10 years, since a teenaged Boudia drove the 10-year-old Johnson to practice every day.

    On Monday (Aug. 9), Boudia teamed up with that "little giggly kid in the back seat," as he remembered Johnson, to win a silver medal in the men's synchronized 10-meter platform event.

    "It was a successful day for both of us," Boudia said. "Going into it and throughout the competition, I've never felt so content and so calm, and you're at the Olympic Games with millions of people watching you. So it's a pretty good feeling, and we know … that peace comes from God." Read More

  • Olympics: Faith, support steadies archer's focus

    by Tim Ellsworth, posted Monday, August 08, 2016 (2 years ago)

    Photo courtesy of USA Archery
    RIO DE JANEIRO (BP) -- Mackenzie Brown showed enough promise as an archer that she moved to the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., as a teenager.

    That proved to be a difficult experience that required a lot of extra maturity, and Brown relied on the Lord to help her through those times.

    "That was kind of a culture shock for me," Brown, now 21, told Baptist Press. "It definitely put me through a couple of rough patches where my faith wasn't as strong, but I always came back. God always found me and pulled me out every time. I thank Him every day for it." Read More

  • Olympics: Swimmer wins gold, shares source of happiness

    by Tim Ellsworth, posted Monday, August 08, 2016 (2 years ago)

    Photo courtesy of Bold Action Media
    RIO DE JANEIRO (BP) -- Take a close look at Caeleb Dressel during some of his swimming competitions, and you'll notice a Scripture reference written across his face.

    The reference changes with each event, and he hasn't yet worn the references at the Olympics, but a favorite one for the 19-year-old is Isaiah 40:31: "but those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles...." Read More

  • Olympics: Cancer, Rio & hope

    by Tim Ellsworth , posted Monday, August 08, 2016 (2 years ago)

    While covering the Olympics in Rio for Baptist Press, Tim Ellsworth shares about the worst phone call of his life that came less than a month before the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Read More

  • Team USA flag bearer Phelps' rehab 'Purpose-Driven'

    by Tim Ellsworth, posted Friday, August 05, 2016 (2 years ago)

    BP file photo
    RIO DE JANEIRO (BP) -- Michael Phelps, Team USA flag bearer at the Olympics opening ceremony tonight (Aug. 5) in Rio De Janeiro, was heavily influenced by Rick Warren's "The Purpose-Driven Life" during rehab after his second arrest on a drunken driving charge.

    "It's turned me into believing that there is a power greater than myself, and there is a purpose for me on this planet," Phelps said about the book in an ESPN feature. Read More

  • Olympics: U.S. diver abandons chase of fame, pursues Christ

    by Tim Ellsworth, posted Friday, August 05, 2016 (2 years ago)

    Submitted Photo
    RIO DE JANEIRO (BP) -- Diver David Boudia had accomplished his life's dream when he captured a gold medal in the men's 10-meter platform competition at the 2012 Olympics in London.

    He soon learned how small and inconsequential that medal actually was.

    "My biggest issue was my continued belief in the lie I had started listening to as a child -- that the gold medal would be all satisfying," Boudia writes in his book "Greater Than Gold: From Olympic Heartbreak to Ultimate Redemption," published this year by Thomas Nelson. "Even though I was a Christian, and even though I had gone to the London Olympics with a proper perspective on my purpose, I began to lose sight of that in the days that followed." Read More

  • Olympics: 'Thy will be done' is shooter's prayer

    by Tim Ellsworth, posted Friday, August 05, 2016 (2 years ago)

    Photo courtesy of USA Shooting
    RIO DE JANEIRO (BP) -- In Sarah Scherer's competitions, the slightest movement -- even an errant breath -- can be the difference between winning and losing.

    It's understandable that such circumstances can cause times of nervousness and tension during a shooting competition. That's why the Olympic shooter a few months ago decided to start reciting the Lord's Prayer to herself when the pressure is on.

    "I realized I do that in life," Scherer told Baptist Press. "I might as well do that when I'm competing. Being able to say a prayer that's a structured prayer is very comforting." Read More

  • Olympians, volunteers to face Rio's challenges

    by Tim Ellsworth, posted Thursday, August 04, 2016 (2 years ago)

    BP file photo
    RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (BP) -- Sid Hopkins is an eye-catching sight when he visits the Olympics.

    The retired director of missions for the Atlanta-area Gwinnett Metro Baptist Association dons a hat and vest decorated with hundreds of pins that people aren't bashful about inspecting. Hopkins trades pins with other Olympics fans while distributing pins made especially for the Olympics that tell the story of Jesus.

    "There is an openness by people to talk with one another and to talk about spiritual things," Hopkins said. "So sharing the seeds of the Gospel through the 'storytelling' witnessing pin is well-received. Then the seeds of the Gospel go back all over the world as the people return home." Read More