Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger) are the Latin motto of the Olympic Games. Pierre de Coubertin borrowed it from his friend, a Dominican priest and athletic enthusiast.
The modern Olympic Games were created with noble thoughts and ideals to foster good fellowship and friendly understanding among nations, to serve the good of humanity, and to promote world peace.
If you have been following the Olympic Games for a while you will know that they not always live up to the founding ideals. Wars were not necessarily cancelled during Olympic Games, rather the other way around (World War 1 and 2). They have witnessed terrorism (Munich 1972), extreme nationalism (Berlin 1936), settling ‘old scores’ (Melbourne 1956, Soviet Union v. Hungary ‘Bloodbath of Melbourne’ Water Polo Final), political protests and boycotts (Moscow 1980, and others), use of illegal performance enhancing drugs and then banning of athletes, and much more.
Olympic Games can be amazing, exciting, can promote many positive messages but they are not perfect. Athletes can be great role models, but they are not perfect either. In this series of reflections on Olympic Games and athletes we will share primarily who made them go faster, reach higher, and be stronger.
We will explore the grace and work of Jesus Christ in their lives. They went into strict training and competed in such a way as to get the prize. But primarily they were running to get a crown that will last for ever! The hope and prospect of that crown from the Lord Jesus encouraged and empowered them not to run aimlessly, not to beat the air but live their lives with the purpose of eternal reward (1 Corinthians 9:24-26)! They are our examples in the race for eternal glory!
“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12)