Christian atheletes who went preaching instead

Consider the godly example of Eric Liddell, the son of Scottish missionaries to China. He was Scotland’s fastest runner and in 1923 won the 100 yard race at the AAA Championship with 9.7 seconds, a record that stood for the next 35 years. A committed Christian, Liddell spoke at gospel meetings for the Glasgow Students Evangelical Union during his college years. He qualified for the British track and field team at the 1924 Olympics in Paris, but because the 100 meter race was held on Sunday he refused to participate, even though this was his best distance…

In spite of personal pleas from the royal family and criticism in the British press for letting down his country, he stood by his decision and spent that Sunday preaching in an evangelical church in Paris.

My two cents

Eric Liddell
Eric Liddell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I would love to see this happen in the 21st century, but I think the lure of money and covetousness is too strong for most Christians nowadays. (I hope I can be proven wrong.) I guess I’ll have to go into the past for some other examples:

First off is the former world chess champion Bobby Fischer. In the 1970s, he was part of the Worldwide Church of God, and kept Saturday as a day of rest. When he entered tournaments, he insisted on not playing matches on Saturdays, and the tournament organisers would reschedule their matches as a result. I heard some opponents had a cry and got upset though.

Another example comes from a Jew, Rabbi Joseph Gutnick, a former President of the Melbourne Demons football team. Back in 2000, Melbourne made it to the Australian Football League Grand Final. This was Melbourne’s second Grand Final in 35 years, so there was a lot of anticipation. The media interviewed Gutnick a few days before the match, asking what the team president would be doing on the day.

He said that he was going to be keeping the Sabbath with his family.

I don’t think the media was prepared for that answer.

Quote source

Cloud, D. (2013). Beware of an Unwholesome Addiction to Sports. Available: Last accessed 25th Jun 2013.


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