NBC's Olympic coverage featured stirring stories of athletes who, from very young ages, aspired to be Olympians; some even drew pictures of themselves winning gold medals. The Rio Games will likely lead many more children to want to be the next Phelps, Biles, or Bolt, but are such goals a good thing? Of course, very few people are talented or driven enough to achieve those levels of athletic success, but another reason is even more compelling.
Our communities, country, and world, face serious challenges ranging from civil unrest, to environmental decay, to economic stagnation. More than finely conditioned bodies, such problems demand extremely sharp minds. Shouldn't we, therefore, wish that more children would aspire to intellectual excellence, picturing themselves not as famous athletes but as acclaimed authors, accomplished engineers, renowned scientists, and even future U.S. presidents?
We live in a sports obsessed society. The excitement surrounding the Olympics and the impassioned anticipation of the new NFL season provide the most recent evidence. While there's little question that athletics produce many positive impacts for a wide variety of people, there's also good reason to believe that our collective preoccupation with physical performance overshadows our appreciation for intellectual achievement, to the detriment of great human need. more >>
How much discipline and self-control must it take to be able to compete in the Olympics? It must take years of sacrifice and choosing the best over the good. Denying yourself in terms of what you eat. Forcing yourself time and again to exercise, whether you feel like it or not.
And then to potentially throw it all away for a night's "fun" because of lack of self-control brought on by drinking and carousing? This is so tragic.
I barely follow sports, but even I have heard about the brouhaha in Brazil surrounding Ryan Lochte and three other American swimmers. The details of exactly what happened (armed robbery or vandalism on their part?) are being ironed out. But there's no question that some mistakes in judgment were made by the young athletes. more >>
When three Team USA hurdlers swept the 100 metres hurdles event at the Olympic games, Lolo Jones found confidence in God even though she wasn't able to participate in the event she has been working hard to qualify for.
Team USA hurdlers Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali and Kristi Castlin gave the United States its first sweep in the event by finishing first, second and third. Jones, the 34-year-old hurdler who placed fourth in the same event at the 2012 London Olympics, did not qualify for the 2016 Olympic games after a string of injuries.
She decided to joke about the matter on social media by posting a meme of cartoon character Homer Simpson backing away slowly into bushes. more >>
Ryan Lochte is in a world of hurt. One expert estimates he will lose between five to ten million dollars in endorsement money. Most people will not earn that much money in their entire lifetime. How did he get into such a mess? He lied to his mother.
I am not fully certain of all the events in Rio and all the conversations had but I do have unique insight. I am the father of two young men who were college athletes and I have been a pastor long enough to have heard more than a few stories of people's lies and indiscretions. Trust me — this whole mess never would have happened if Ryan told his mother the truth.
The basic facts are known. Ryan and his three Olympic swimming friends James Feigen, Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz were out at a club, got drunk and took a taxi back to the Olympic village. They stopped at a gas station to use the restroom, the door was locked so they went around back and urinated outside. more >>
Despite the media's wall-to-wall Olympic coverage, you've likely not heard the best story of all.
We've all heard the story of Eric Liddell, who turned down an opportunity for Olympic gold at the Paris Games in 1924 in order to honor His Savior. It was Liddell who famously said, "God made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure."
Well, this summer in Rio de Janeiro, there's been a whole lot of running, jumping, swimming, and competing by athletes seeking to honor Jesus Christ. Not that you've heard much about it from the "mainstream" media. I spoke about this media blackout with my friend Terry Mattingly, who's one of today's foremost religion journalists. Terry told me, "If these athletes make faith a part of their story, how do you leave out faith when telling their story?" Come to BreakPoint.org for a link to the podcast. more >>
Popular Christian entertainer Carman Licciardello, mononymously known as Carman, recently overcame an intense battle with cancer but his fight was not over as he suffered a string of heart attacks shortly after. Fortunately the entertainer has since recovered and is now gearing up to do his first 5k run in the next local cancer fundraiser.
The artist was rushed to the hospital in February of this year after a concert because he was suffering from chronic chest pain which was soon revealed as a heart attack. It is not the first time he ended up in the hospital because of chest pain; on Memorial Day of 2015, the New Jersey native also spent some time in the hospital after suffering multiple heart attacks which he detailed in a Facebook message.
Carman is now out of the woods as per doctor's evaluation, and in a recent social media post he included a photo of himself smiling in the mirror while in the hospital bathroom revealing that he will be running in a local 5k fundraiser. more >>