Christian Olympian Discusses Highs and Lows of Olympic Experience

Veronica Neffinger | Editor, | Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Christian Olympian Discusses Highs and Lows of Olympic Experience

Christian Olympian Discusses Highs and Lows of Olympic Experience

In a recent podcast titled, “How Much Should a Christian Olympian Give Up for Gold,” an Olympic swimmer discusses family, Christian faith, and going for gold.

The Quick to Listen podcast, which is presented by Christianity Today, revolves around the discussion of Two-time Olympian Josh Davis, who swam with Michael Phelps, and Rio Olympic Games correspondent Tim Ellsworth.

Davis, who won five medals during the Olympics in Atlanta (1996) and Sydney (2000), shares that it is easy to make the pursuit of a medal the only goal, which makes it hard to come back down to the real world.

“I think everyone experiences it to varying degrees, but there is a letdown,” said Davis. “When you come off a church retreat, church camp, summer project, mission trip, and you come back to the regular world, it’s like ‘Oh man.’ It’s kind of like leaving heaven.”

Davis, who now leads Oklahoma Christian University’s swim program, said sharing his experiences with young people helped him debrief from his time at the Olympic Games.

Ellsworth cited diver David Boudia as another Olympian who could relate to the thrill of the Olympics and then the plunge back down to real life afterward.

Ellsworth recently co-authored a book with Boudia titled Greater Than Gold: From Olympic Heartbreak to Ultimate Redemption which explores Boudia's Olympic career and his faith.

“Even though he had become a believer and even though in 2012 he knew that a gold medal was not the pinnacle of his existence and most precious thing in his life, I think there was still a part of him that thought that that would bring a sense of satisfaction in his life that he didn’t have otherwise,” said Ellsworth.

In the book, Boudia says his wife and the birth of his daughter ultimately helped to ground him.

Other subjects talked about in the podcast include finding Christian community in the Olympic Village, misconceptions about the Olympic Games, and how athletes have displayed their faith during the Games.


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Publication date: August 24, 2016