Olympic Tryouts

We practice, and practice, and practice some more
With weight-training workouts, and sprints by the score
Though I don’t really know what we do it all for—
Which makes all this effort seem odd

We work through more pain than we care to admit;
The coaches and trainers, as well, do their bit,
In the end though, we know that it doesn’t mean shit—
We’re giving the credit to God.

Watching the US Olympic Games Tryouts, I am struck by something–just how many people won because it was God’s plan. I mean, these people are not here by luck; they have worked extraordinarily hard to get to these heights, and they have had a great deal of help from a great many people along the way. But God gets credit.

I remember in one of my classes, one student calling Michael Jordan a “naturally gifted” athlete, and another student calling that a racist claim, minimizing the hard work, effort, and study that it took to become the best at the game. Attributing his success to anything but his effort, the second student asserted, was insulting.

But these athletes, themselves, are giving credit away. And God hates losers, apparently. Well, mostly.


  1. says

    You don’t make it to the high levels of sports, particularly professional sports, without a combination of natural talent and hard work. Sports history is littered with the wreckage of great athletes who didn’t work hard enough.
    And the bleachers are full of guys who failed to grow past 5’9″.
    Incidentally, those Olympic trials are here in my adopted hometown. Damn hard to find a restaurant this morning; ended up at some place called “Barfy’s” or something like it out on Hwy. 99.

  2. carpenterman says

    Why is it when athletes win a big game or set a record, they give God thanks, but they never blame him when thay lose? Just once, I want to see some football player after a defeat tell the reporters, “Well, the team gave it their all, and we all prayed for victory just as hard as we could, but in the crunch, God just didn’t get it done. He let us down. Thanks for nothing, Jesus. You really disappointed us.” I might even watch football if they did that.
    Actually… no. No, I wouldn’t.

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