During the U.S. Olympic Track and Field trials in Eugene, Oregon last month, hurdler and sprinter Sydney McLaughlin not only qualified to join Team USA in Tokyo later this month for the Summer Games, but she also set a world record in the women’s 400-meter hurdles, becoming the first woman to complete the event in less than 52 seconds.
The 21-year-old athlete told NBC Sports after the headline-grabbing win that she gave “all the glory to God” for her impressive performance.
McLaughlin completed the 400-meter hurdler in 51.90 seconds, beating out the previous record-holder, Dalilah Muhammad, who had completed it in 52.16 seconds in 2019. Muhammad placed second and will join McLaughlin in Tokyo.
“Honestly, this season, just working with my new coach and my new support system, it’s truly just faith and trusting the process. I couldn’t ask for anything more and truly it is all a gift from God,” McLaughlin told reporters.
She also credited having “child-like faith and trusting that everything is going to work out.”
“I think the biggest difference this year is my faith, trusting God and trusting that process, and knowing that He’s in control of everything,” she said of the difference in her performance this season, having been beaten out by Muhammad in the past.
“As long as I put the hard work in, He’s going to carry me through. And I really cannot do anything more but give the glory to Him at this point.”
The Christian Post notes that the young athlete is vocal about her devout Christian faith on social media, where she gave further praise to the Lord after the trials.
“The face of a woman who is in awe of God,” she wrote on Instagram along with a photo of herself after the meet
“I could feel this meet was going to be something special… but MAN. Weeks like these are some of the hardest in a track athletes [sic] life,” she explained. “The mental strain of preparing for the rounds in order to solidify your spot is heavy enough. But the amount of weight the Lord took off my shoulders, is the reason I could run so freely yesterday.”
“My faith was being tested all week. From bad practices, to 3 false start delays, to a meet delay. I just kept hearing God say, ‘Just focus on me.’ It was the best race plan I could have ever assembled. I no longer run for self recognition, but to reflect His perfect will that is already set in stone. I don’t deserve anything. But by grace, through faith, Jesus has given me everything. Records come and go. The glory of God is eternal. Thank you Father,” she added.
It is enormously edifying and inspiring to see a world-class athlete give all the praise to the Lord and humble herself before Him in the face of incredible victory.
In a moment when she could be glorying in her own talent and success, she turned towards His love and promises as the far greater glory than setting a world record or going to the Olympics.
Here is a young woman who will represent our nation very well at the Olympics, and much more important, be an ambassador for Christ as the whole world is watching. Praise the Lord for that!
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