September 2, 2014
  • Reid Priddy, right, is captain of the U.S. men's volleyball team.
  • Thousands of spectators line the streets for men's Olympic cycling.
  • Southwestern Seminary handed out 250 Chick-fil-A sandwiches to students, faculty and staff Aug. 1.
  • More than 300 youth from the Black Hills joined in a skateboard competition hosted by Connection Church.
LONDON (BP) -- In one way, Reid Priddy hopes that the London Olympics won't be a repeat of what happened in Beijing.

Reid Priddy
Four years ago, tragedy struck the men's volleyball squad when Todd Bachman, the father-in-law of team coach Hugh McCutcheon, was stabbed and killed at the Drum Tower in Beijing shortly after the Opening Ceremony.

In another sense, however, Priddy would take the same result from the competition itself: the men's team won gold in 2008 and Priddy, now the team's captain, thinks he and his teammates can do it again.

"Gold is certainly possible," Priddy said. "I don't think the rest of the world thinks it's probable, and that's OK. They didn't think that before."

London marks Priddy's third Olympics experience, and at age 34, he knows he's in the latter years of his professional volleyball career. But regardless of when the end comes, Priddy knows that the Lord has guided his steps, deepened his faith and molded him along the way.

"I find that God has really used volleyball and the ups and downs and the learning aspects to shape my character, and it's a great arena for that," Priddy said. "It's a great arena to learn how to be a team player, how to put a team's goal above any personal agenda, how to work with other people."

The son of a minister, Priddy grew up in a Christian home, but it wasn't until college and the years shortly thereafter when he grew in his faith. While attending Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles, a Jesuit Catholic university, Priddy was part of a campus ministry and "was able to see God do some cool things with a sort of ragtag group of believers," he said.

Immediately after college he spent two years in Europe, a time in which he said he developed a great fellowship with the Lord. Prior to his first Olympics experience in 2004, Priddy had a revelation.

"Right before the Athens Olympics, I really felt God giving me permission to be a fierce competitor," he said. "I love to compete, and I love to try to win."

He said that freedom that he felt from God to play fiercely and passionately set the stage for the rest of his career. Read More
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