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Six of the best: Christian athletes aim high at Commonwealth Games

Stuart Weir of Verité Sport profiles six Christian athletes going for gold at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow from 23 July-3 August ...

STUART WEIR of Verité Sport profiles six Christian athletes going for gold at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow from 23 July - 3 August

Name:  Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Jamaica)
Event: Athletics 100m and relay
Achievements: Two Olympic 100m gold medals; four individual world titles
Commonwealth Games record: Glasgow will be first appearance.
Interesting fact: Owns her own hair salon.

Faith: “Just to be able to stand on the line and know I am a child of God makes me special. I hope that by me running he’ll get the glory, and he’ll enjoy it as much as I am enjoying it. When I run, the first thing I say [to God] is. ‘I hope you are pleased with my worship’ for running is my worship – my way of worshipping him because he has given me the talents.”

2014 prediction: Gold in 100 and 4 x 100 relay

Name: Tiffany Porter (England)
Event: Athletics 100m hurdles
Achievements: Bronze medal World Championships 2013, medallist World Indoors 2012, 2014
Commonwealth Games record: Glasgow will be first appearance
Interesting fact: Her husband, Jeff is also a sprint hurdler

Faith: “When I line up at the start line of every race no matter how big or small, I remind myself that I have an ‘audience of one’ even if there are 60,000 fans in the stands. Keeping that in mind not only calms my nerves by keeping things in perspective, but it also excites me to know that the Lord blessed me with the opportunity to use athletics as my ministry. I strive to be the best Christian I can be and … there are great lessons to be learned in every victory and in every defeat.”

2014 prediction: In the medals

Name: Christine Ohuruogu (England)
Event: Athletics 4 x 400m relay, possibly 400m
Achievements: 2008 Olympic Gold medal, 2007 and 2013 World Champion in 400 metres
Commonwealth Games record: Gold medal 2006 in 400m
Interesting fact: Her younger sister, Victoria is likely to be in the relay team with her.

Faith: “I tend to worry a lot. I like it when Jesus says: ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest’. As a sportsperson you can get overwhelmed by everything that is going on – and especially in a championship environment. But it is nice to have that safety net [of Jesus saying], ‘If you are worried, come to me and it will be all right’.”

2014 prediction: Relay gold medal

Name: Milcah Chemos (Kenya)
Event: Athletics 3000m steeplechase
Achievements: World Championship gold (2013), bronze (2009 and 2011)
Commonwealth Games record: Gold in 2010
Interesting fact: Her coach, Alex Sang, is also her husband

Faith: “My story is that I have come from afar, being born in a family of 11 and I was the first in my family to get a job and I thank God for that. No one expected me to get where I am but I know God has many plans for my life and my family.”

2014 prediction: Gold

Name: Nick Willis (New Zealand)
Event: Athletics 1500m
Achievements: Olympic silver medal in 2008
Commonwealth Games record: Gold in 2006, bronze in 2010
Interesting fact: He was the New Zealand flag carrier at the 2012 Olympics

Faith: “Jesus gives me the security of his love and his promise in what he did for me – whether I was to come down with cancer today, whether I win or lose a race, whatever trials and tribulations happen in life, this is only a temporary existence. Because of what Jesus has done, there is a much greater hope on the eternal side.”

2014 prediction: In the medals

Name: Tera Van Beilen (Canada)
Event: Swimming - 100m and 200m breaststroke, 4x100m medley relay.
Achievements: Semi-finalist 2012 Olympics; gold medal 2010 Youth Olympics
Commonwealth Games record: Glasgow will be first appearance.
Interesting fact: In the semi-finals of the 100m she finished equal 8th with Alia Atkinson of Jamaica but lost a swim-off for a place in the final

Faith: “Believing in Jesus has a huge impact on how I live my life. I like to thank God daily for all the blessing he has given me. Every night, I look back on my day and think of a couple things that I am thankful for. It helps me to put my life into perspective and try to live according to the plan that God has for my life.”

2014 prediction: In the medals

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