Athlete Profiles:

Lorena Ochoa

Mexico's Lorena Ochoa has proven she is in the golfing world. However, she is equally determined not to be of the golfing world. For the soft-spoken, 25-year-old women's golf sensation, her faith, her family, and her friends will always be more important than any golfing fame. "God is always very important to me, my family is important, and then there is golf," Ochoa said.

2006 was a breakout year for Ochoa on the LPGA Tour. In addition to six wins on the year, she received Player of the Year honors and became the leading money winner. Despite this success, Ochoa vows her biggest goal for 2007 is not to change the type of committed, faith-filled individual she has become. "Before I play every tournament, before I wake up in the morning, I do it all for God," she said.

Ochoa has begun to use her earnings to help others. She started the Lorena Ochoa Foundation, which has so far helped build a school for nearly 300 kids in Mexico.

She has some advice for rookie golfers. "I tell the new (Tour) players to put God first in all that you do." Good advice for being very much in the pro golfing world without being of that same world.


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Tim Tebow

TEBOW / MCCOY
As the current quarterbacks for the last two national championship teams, Colt McCoy and Tim Tebow have taken center stage in two of the most intensely scrutinized college football programs in America. Even as sophomores, this concept is not lost on McCoy and Tebow. They know they are being watched. They also know that with the immediate access they have to so many people, the opportunities to be a model and a spokesperson for Jesus Christ are preeminent. "In some places it's not the cool thing to do or the popular thing to be and God is not No. 1," says McCoy.

Tebow and McCoy were both hatched from close-knit, deeply Christian upbringings that saw them come to faith at an early age. Tim Tebow's fater, Bob Tebow, heads the Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association, which claims to be the conduit of close to 9 million people coming to faith in Christ in the last 8 years.

An NFL career is a goal for both of these young quarterbacks, but they are realistic enough to know there are no guarantees. McCoy looks forward to what God has in store. "God willing, I'd like to be in the NFL, but the important thing to do is His will."

Shaun Alexander

ALEXANDER
Whether Shaun Alexander spends his Sunday morning wearing a football jersey on a field or a suit in a pew, he's the same guy. "Shaun is a Christian 24/7," says close friend and teammate Mack Strong. "He's a great example. It's a testimony to him, to God."

Alexander has made a lasting name for himself in the NFL. The accomplishments and praises he's received are only dreams for many. He's not surprised by his success; he's always set lofty goals and worked hard. Now he's a household name, but he says, "This is no time to say, 'Look at me.'" That's because, for Alexander, it's not just about football. "I play football to make a difference in people's lives."

The difference he wants to make is a difference for Christ. He has a heart for providing hope, especially for youth, and giving to others as unto the Lord. That's the purpose of his foundation and the community center he started with his brother. "You can't outgive God," he says.

The best day in his life? Being valedictorian of his graduating class? Setting NFL records? Becoming 2005 MVP? No. "It was the first time I led someone to Christ," says Alexander. What else would we expect?

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