A once outspoken Christian athlete now says he finds himself happier without his faith.
Former British Track and Field athlete Jonathan Edwards, who famously drew attention to his religious convictions when he refused to compete in a World Championship qualifying event in 1991 because it was on a Sunday, told the Daily Mirror last week that life without God was fine.
"I am happy," Edwards said. "And actually it's fine. I don't miss my faith. In many ways I feel more settled and happier in myself without it. I don't know if that is related to losing my faith or would have been the case anyway, but it's a non-issue as far as I am concerned."
Edwards added he did not feel that his life now lacked something because his relationship with God was no longer a part of it.
"Seven years on I don't feel a gap in my life and I suppose that's the proof of the pudding isn't it? Had I suddenly thought that life doesn't quite feel right, maybe I'd re-examine that – re-examine my faith. In fact, more than ever, I feel comfortable with where I am in life."
Edwards eventually changed his beliefs about competing on Sunday in 1993, after discussing the decision with his father, a vicar, and concluding that God had given him athletic ability to be used.
He famously told reporters that his "relationship with Jesus and God is fundamental to everything I do. I have made a commitment and dedication in that relationship to serve God in every area of my life."
That Edwards' wife Alison is the daughter of an evangelist and still considers herself a Christian has made the former athlete's belief about faith at times difficult for the family.
"[Still] Alison is still very involved with church and she actually works for the church," he said. "But neither of our boys go to church. They've made their own decisions. It's all fine."
Edwards first addressed rumors of losing his faith in 2007 when he announced that he would cease presenting episodes of the Christian television show Songs of Praise.
Edwards won the World Championships in Triple Jump in 1995 and 2001. He won the silver medal in the Atlanta Summer Olympics in 1996 and and the gold medal in Sydney's games in 2000.