Gold medalist Brianna Rollins: I want to be known as 'the athlete who glorified God'

by Michael Foust, Guest Reviewer |
2016 Rio Olympics - Athletics - Final - Women's 100m Hurdles Final - Olympic Stadium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 17/08/2016. Third placed Kristi Castlin (USA) of USA, first placed Brianna Rollins (USA) of USA and second placed Nia Ali (USA) of USA celebrate. | REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

RIO DE JANEIRO (Christian Examiner) – A trio of American sprinters swept the 110-meter hurdles final Wednesday night during the Olympics, but it was the post-race interview that many TV viewers will remember.

Brianna Rollins won the gold medal with a time of 12.48 seconds, while teammates Nia Ali (12.59) and Kristi Castlin (12.61) captured the silver and bronze, respectively. It was the first Olympics since 1972 that a country had swept the event.

Rollins, who often uses her social media platform to discuss her Christian faith, didn't waste time giving credit to God during a post-race interview with NBC that involved all three medalists.

"I just kept God first and just continued to let Him guide me throughout the rounds," she said. "We formed a prayer circle this morning and we just let His presence come upon us."

They prayed, she said, that God would "just help us come out here and continue to glorify Him and do the best that we can and that's what we did."

"I'm just so excited; we are blessed," she said. "I'm grateful to God."

Rollins' fans on social media likely were not surprised by her mention of her faith. Her Twitter profile picture includes a quote from her: "I want to break world records and win gold medals, but I also want to be known as the athlete who glorified God by reaching my full potential."

A Florida native who ran track at Clemson University, Rollins is prone to post Bible verses on social media. On May 9 she tweeted: "For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do" – from Ephesians 2:10. On Easter, she wrote: "I am free because you are alive. Thank you Jesus! #HappyResurrectionDay."

Rollins' Twitter bio reads simply: "Glorifying God through the talent He blessed me with! Professional Hurdler ... God is Love."