Just thought I’d share a post I wrote during the last winter Olympics in 2006.
I do not know Kelly Clark.  I did not see her attempt a gold medal in snowboarding.
But I like her.  I like her because I read an article about her that was written out of respect for her “religion.”
Snowboarding is a sport for rebels, so says the author of the article.  He explains that baggy pants and “rock music banging so loud at the stadium that eardrums bleed” is part of the snowboarding atmosphere.
In the midst of this Kelly competed — and finished fourth.  When asked about her disappointment in not getting a medal, Kelly replied, “I love Jesus.  It’s more joyful knowing Him that all that snowboarding stuff.  And so being able to snowboard for Him is amazing.”   Her chosen music was “O Praise Him.”
After reading the column about Kelly, I did some more research.  I discovered that she had not been a Christian at the 2002 Olympics, but in spite of the gold medal she earned there, she felt empty.  When she overheard two athletes talking and one telling the other to remember “God loves you,” the words struck Kelly.  Back at the hotel, she searched out the girl and talked with her.  The girl told Kelly what it meant to have a relationship with Christ.  That’s exactly what Kelly wanted.
The man who wrote the original article does not have Kelly’s faith.  But he says that sharing her faith when the whole world was watching took a lot of guts.  He respected her stand enough to write an entire column, not about her snowboarding abilities, but about her testimony.
He respected her enough to say, “Even if you’re not drinking what Clark is selling {her faith in Christ}, you’ve got to admit, it’s stronger stuff than bottled water.”
No, I don’t know Kelly Clark.  But anyone that can get a column written about her stand for Christ in the midst of an not-very-Christian environment  – earns my respect, too.

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