Summer 2024

Idara Otu, Nigeria, discusses faith and obstacles

Nigeria’s Idara Otu (middle), track and field, will run in the semifinals of the 4×400 meters on August 10. She is a two-time All-American who ran at Stanford and is a Nigerian-American. She lived in Brooklyn before going to Stanford and graduating in 2009. Last time Nigeria won a medal in the event was a silver medal in 1996. You can follow Idara’s London experience by visiting her blog.

Q. What’s your inspiration as an athlete?
A. As an individual and as an athlete, I put a lot of faith and trust in God.

Q. What’s your relationship with God?
A. He’s the author and finisher of everything I do. My faith is very, very important to me and it’s been the rock of my training and the rock of my life. And especially this year, God has really shown me what he can do with my talent and has opened up a lot of doors for me that wouldn’t have been there without His help.

Q. How do you handle situations as a Christian when you don’t really set a target or goal for yourself when you don’t make it?
A. You can discouraged. It’s tough at times, different times, as small as a workout not going well or not running as fast as you want to run, not hitting the standards that you want to hit…you deal with that every day on a daily basis, so it’s just really staying focused and believing in what the goal is and what the outcome is and just regrouping. Because everything is not going to be easy and just being a Christian or having faith in something, does not mean everything is going to be easy. It just helps give you the strength to overcome whatever obstacles that are in your way.

Q. What is the story in the Bible that inspires you?
A. Psalm 37:4: ‘Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.’ And that’s really what I live by. I mean, obviously I’m not perfect, we’re striving to be more Christ like every day, but I always think if I’m delighting in Him He’s going to give me what’s in my heart.