Olympic Athletes Would Choose Gold Medal Over Life Itself? Video Shows Billy Graham's Talk on Survey Findings

Billy Graham
Evangelist Billy Graham preaches to thousands. |

The Rev. Franklin Graham recently posted a video to social media of his father, the famed Rev. Billy Graham, commenting on a study about how many athletes would trade years of their life in return for winning a gold medal at the Olympics.

Franklin Graham posted the video to his Twitter account on Saturday, garnering as of Monday morning nearly 42,000 views.

In the video, footage is shown of Billy Graham speaking at a past evangelistic crusade event. He mentioned a survey of nearly 200 professional athletes about their willingness to shorten their life to get a gold medal.

"The sports researcher Robert Goldman polled 198 world class athletes, asking: 'would you take a pill, that would guarantee a gold medal even if you knew that it would kill you in five years?'" noted Billy Graham.

"Do you know what the answer was? More than half said they'd do it. In other words, they want athletic success and they want that gold medal more than they want life itself."

Billy Graham went on to quote Jesus' words as recorded in Mark 8:36, "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"

"Deep in your heart, you know something is missing, you don't know what it is," continued Graham. "God is speaking to you, do you know Him?"

In the past, Billy Graham has compared the discipline of Olympic athletes and the spiritual discipline to lead a godly life.

"Over the years, I've always enjoyed watching the Olympics whenever I could and I always marvel at the discipline and ability of these gifted athletes," wrote Graham in a 2016 advice column.

"Just as an athlete takes care of his or her body with the right exercise and food, so we need the right spiritual exercise and food: prayer, the Bible and fellowship with other believers."

The survey Graham referenced in the video is commonly known as "Goldman's Dilemma," and is based off of a 1995 study usually used in reference to the problems of doping in professional sports.

Despite the 50 percent support for taking the hypothetical drug in 1995, research from 2011 found that percentage to be closer to 1 percent.

A 2016 study by Woolf et al. argued in its abstract that the Dilemma "demonstrated a lack of scientific rigour" and for various reasons "is of historical interest only and no longer relevant to drug control policy debate in sport."

Franklin Graham's tweet of his father preaching on the Goldman Dilemma comes amid the competitions of the Winter Olympics, being held at Pyeongchang County, South Korea.

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