OLYMPICS: 'Shot Diva' Michelle Carter wins gold: 'Thank you Jesus!'

by Michael Foust, Guest Reviewer |
Michelle Carter celebrates her gold medal victory. | Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach

RIO DE JANEIRO (Christian Examiner) – An American who calls herself the "Shot Diva" and who doesn't waste a chance to tell others how much she loves Jesus claimed a historic gold medal in the shot put Friday.

Michelle Carter won gold with a throw of 20.63 meters (68 feet, 8 1/4 inches), becoming the first American woman to finish first in the event and only the second U.S. woman to medal in it. She also upset the favorite, New Zealand's Valerie Adams, who had won gold in the event twice and whose toss of 20.42 meters fell just short of Carter's.

Carter's father, Michael Carter, won a silver in the men's shot put in the 1984 Olympics at Los Angeles. He also won three Super Bowls for the San Francisco 49ers.

Michelle Carter, 30, mentions her faith often on social media, and she didn't hold back after her upset win.

"Thank you Jesus!!!" she wrote on Twitter and Facebook, adding the hashtag "#ThrowingByFaith."

Asked for her thoughts about the win immediately after clinching it, Carter told an NBC national audience, "I knew I had to bring my A-game, and all I could do was pray and ask the Lord: 'Lord come on, You told me that I had the victory.' I came through on that last throw, and it was amazing."

Her father was in the stands, watching intently.

"Now I can say I officially beat him," she said, laughing. "We always say the only way to really trump him is to get the Olympic gold. ... He's poured a lot into me – as well as my mom. My whole family, they support me 100 percent and want me to be my best."

Carter's Twitter bio reads, in part: "USA Olympian. American Record Holder. I Love Jesus!"

It was her third Olympics.

Carter operates a website, ShotDiva.com, where she sells apparel and blogs about life. She also takes bookings for speeches.

"God's blueprint for your life is different than the one you laid out for your life," she wrote in her latest blog post. "Knowing that He has the final say, leave some room for some changes. Go with the flow, because one thing He will never do is leave you during the process."

She competed on the collegiate level at the University of Texas.