Sunday, February 14, 2010


As a die-hard sports fan, the Olympics are like an early (or late, depending on whether it's the summer or winter games) Christmas present for me. While I admire the speed and skills that these athletes demonstrate throughout the games, even more compelling to me is the human drama behind the scenes. In particular, I love stories of redemption and dreams coming true after injury or disqualification or some other hardship.

Last night, Hannah Kearney won the U.S.'s first gold medal of the 2010 games by winning the women's moguls. In Torino in 2006, Kearney ended up in 22nd place in the qualifying round and failed to qualify for the medals round. Last night, she finished first in the qualifying round and went on to finish first in the medals round. Redemption indeed.

Rather than let defeat at the 2006 games deter her, she used it as a motivator to train harder to make sure it wouldn't happen again. Her trainer slipped a note into her bag before the meet upon which he'd calculated the number of hours she spent in conditioning and training in preparation for 2010.

"It's there because it's part of what got me here today," Kearney said of her 2006 failure. "Everything happens for a reason. If I had known I was going to win a gold medal four years ago, I wouldn't have cried so much."

I love her perspective. I have a sneaking suspicion that if I only knew what God had in store for me, I probably wouldn't cry about the past as much either. I'm thankful that God DOES have something great in store for me, although sometimes I can't even begin to imagine what it might be. And I'm thankful that He doesn't reserve redemption just for athletes.

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