This weekend the Beijing Olympics reach the half-way mark. I continue to be amazed at the skill, determination and stamina of those winning Gold. Whether the sport is Fencing, Swimming, Gymnastics or one of the many others, the Olympic champions are just that – Olympic in stature. As we admire these superb athletes there is even the place for the accurate use of an over-used word – unique. There is only one Michael Phelps. Have we found the modern definition of greatness in this young man? Perhaps, from the perspective of swimming. But the things that make Michael Phelps special are things that the rest of us can only admire from a distance.
Here is another name for your consideration – Nick Challies. This is a young man who, according to his dad, struggled somewhat this year on the athletic field. Yet Nick excelled on this same field by being an example of sportsmanship. Sportsmanship, from a biblical perspective, is putting others before yourself. By practicing sportsmanship with excellence, Nick gathered the appreciation of others. And unlike Michael, Nick’s performance does not have to be unique. All Christians should embrace the goal of placing others first. You can read about Nick’s award winning season here. Thanks, Nick, for providing a biblical balance to the Gold Medal chase!