The new Netflix original documentary “World Debut” tells the story how Skateboarding, Surfing, and Climbing Became Olympic Sports. It follows the journeys of advocates and pioneers of their sports. It takes grit, endurance, and passion to make it to the games. The same is true for making it through the bureaucratic hurdles of the Olympic movement. Along the way, skateboarding pioneeer Gary Ream lost his son Brandon to bone cancer. He kept on fighting:
Usain Bolt crushed the Olympic record for 100m. The Jamaican needed years of dedicated training and a prayer with the sign of the cross and a redirecting towards heaven right before the race. What helps you win in life and on the court?
When designing the opening and closing ceremonies for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Tokyo Organising Committee set a clear standard:
the realisation of a more sustainable, spiritually richer, happier society.
Bhavani Devi is the first Indian fencer to compete in the Olympics. Shortly before her trip to Tokyo she shared a picture of herself in front of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Her dad was reportedly a priest. The athlete herself is named after the Goddess Bhavānī who of course wields a big saber.
Twitter asked people what they were doing on August 8th 2008. Every tweet that includes #080808 can easily be tracked through Twitter Search. We were interested in godly tweets on 08082008. Here are our favorites:
dennischong: #080808 God bless XXIX Olympic Game in China and Hong Kong!
shanegold: Oh, thanks god. The flame. #080808
sagebrennan: Thank God it’s raining in Beijing. #080808
TIME takes you on a world tour to introduce you to the most compelling athletes you’ll be seeing in the Beijing Games. Out of their 100 we picked the most spiritual ones. Here’s our Top 4:
# 1 LeBron James, U.S., Basketball
LeBron thinks of the Beijing Games: “It’s going to be like waking up on Christmas Day.” Oh and by the way: James has already had his political baptism by fire.
# 6 Allyson Felix, U.S., Sprints
She’s the ideal savior — young and telegenic, with a smile as wide as a hurdle. She’s participating in a pilot program, Project Believe, in which athletes undergo extensive blood and urine analyses that go beyond the World Anti-Doping Agency’s guidelines. If Felix is doping, you might just as well put down the starting guns for good.
# 7 Shawn Johnson, U.S., Gymnastics
She’s the Muse of the Mats, texting poems with lines like these:
“You remember the struggles and pain you had
When all the good had turned to bad
When behind the scenes you crumbled and prayed
For it all to simply just go away”
#11 Asafa Powell, Jamaica, Sprints
The son of pastors, he is one of the few among the many famous Jamaican sprinters who has not emigrated.
With the Olympics coming closer the makers of beliefnet figured it might be a good idea to create a list of the Top 20 Inspirational Sports Movies. That is in most cases what they are: inspirational, that does not mean inspiring, inspired or spiritual but at least containing the syllable “spir”.
sports books | spirituality books
Mary Fairchild introduces six extraordinary Christian athletes competing in the Beijing Olympics. Check out the interviews and faith profiles!