American hurdler and sprinter Sydney McLaughlin, a devoted Christian athlete, broke her own record in the 400-meter hurdle Olympic final Wednesday in Tokyo and praised God as she took home her first Olympic gold medal.
McLaughlin finished at 51.46 seconds Wednesday morning, shaving 0.44 seconds off her previous record set in the Olympic trials in June. McLaughlin beat out the former U.S. Olympic and world champion, Dalilah Muhammad, who first set the world record in 400-meter hurdles in 2019. They are the only two women ever to run the heat in under 52 seconds.
In an interview with NBC News after the race, McLaughlin said that what helped her was "trusting the process."
“Giving the glory to God,” McLaughlin declared of her victory. “It’s all, this season, hard work and dedication. And [I’m] just really grateful to be able to represent my country and to have this opportunity.”
McLaughlin was shown a clip of people from her former high school, Union Catholic High School in Scotch Plains, New Jersey, rooting her on as she became the Olympic champion.
Before heading to Tokyo, McLaughlin also gave "glory to God" after setting her first world record in the Olympic trials in June.
“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,” she stated at the time.
McLaughlin said that “having that child-like faith and trusting that everything is going to work out” is what helped her get through.
McLaughlin is very outspoken about her Christian faith on social media.
In an Instagram post from February, McLaughlin boldly testified that she chose to place her future in God’s hands.
“We can laugh at whatever lies ahead because we know HE has already won,” McLaughlin wrote. “We can sleep easier at night knowing HE has a plan for whatever may normally trouble us. We can laugh at anything that doesn’t fit the purpose for our lives, because we know God’s plan is greater.”
Following her victory in the U.S. Olympic Track and Field 400-meter hurdles trials in Eugene, Oregon, McLaughlin took to Instagram to share a photo of herself at the finish line with her hand over her mouth.
“The face of a woman who is in awe of God (Prayer hand emoji) 51.90,” she celebrated. “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. 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," she added. "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.”
Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.org She's also the author of the book, What Is Happening to Me? How to Defeat Your Unseen Enemy Follow her on Twitter: @jlawcp Facebook: JeannieOMusic