Summer 2024

Gold medalist Sydney McLaughlin: 'What I have in Christ is far greater' than anything else

U.S. track star Sydney McLaughlin has been silent on social media during these Tokyo Olympics, in which she won gold in the 400-meter hurdles, broke her own world record and set the Internet abuzz.

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On Thursday, she broke that silence with a lengthy Instagram post glorifying God.

“Let me start off by saying, what an honor it is to be able to represent not only my country, but also the kingdom of God,” she wrote. “What I have in Christ is far greater than what I have or don’t have in life. I pray my journey may be a clear depiction of submission and obedience to God. Even when it doesn’t make sense, even when it doesn’t seem possible. He will make a way out of no way. Not for my own gratification, but for His glory.

“I have never seen God fail in my life. In anyone’s life for that matter. Just because I may not win every race, or receive every one of my heart’s desires, does not mean God had failed. His will is PERFECT. And He has prepared me for a moment such as this. That I may use the gifts He has given me to point all the attention back to Him.

“2x Olympian, Olympic Champion, World Record Holder

“Thank. You. God.”

McLaughlin made the decision to limit her time on social media to help her focus on the competition in front of her, the 21-year-old’s second Olympic Games.

“I think when you have a lot of outside voices coming in, it can definitely alter what you have going on internally,” she told The New York Times. “The more I can distance myself from that, the more I can stay as calm and as relaxed as possible.”

Her self-discipline paid off in a big way Wednesday. Only a little more than a month after setting the world record in the 400m hurdles at the U.S. Olympic Trials, McLaughlin set it again in an epic race with fellow American Dalilah Muhammad. McLaughlin’s world-record time of 51.46 seconds and Muhammad’s time of 51.58 are the two fastest times in the history of the event.

McLaughlin has more than 877,000 followers and counting on Instagram, where her bio says, “Jesus saved me.” She posts often about her faith there and on Twitter, where her profile picture says “Saved by grace.”

Last November, she posted a video of her getting baptized in the ocean at a beach in L.A., and said, “For twenty-one years I was running from the greatest gift I could ever receive. And by His grace, I have been saved. I no longer live, but Christ in me. My past has been made clean because of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”

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