Jan/Feb 2010 Nick Dunn











Ursula Bruhin - Snowboarding
Country:
Switzerland
Born: March 19, 1970
Residence: Schwyz, Switzerland

Trivia:
• World Champion in Parallel Giant Slalom in 2001 and 2003.
• 2005 Centralswiss Sportswoman of the Year.
• Four-time World Champion.

On failing to qualify for the 2002 Olympics despite being ranked No. 1 in the world: “I was really disappointed. I could not understand why, if God wanted the best for me, I was not going to the Olympics. Then I came to realize that if God wanted the best for me, then not going to the Olympics must be His best. The support friends gave me was my gold medal. Perhaps that was what God wanted me to learn.”

On dealing with failure:Having Jesus in my life makes a big difference. Even if you fail, God can make the best of it. He stands behind you and carries you through the difficult times. I don’t know how I would survive without God. I know that whatever I do in competition doesn’t affect what God thinks of me.”

Shane Doan - Hockey
Country: Canada
Born: Oct. 10, 1976
Birthplace: Halkirk, Alberta, Canada
Current Team: Phoenix Coyotes
Position: Left Wing

Trivia:
• Posted a career-high 31 goals for the Coyotes last season.
• Drafted seventh overall by the then-Winnipeg Jets in 1995.

On dealing with injuries: “When things like injuries happen, you realize how little control you really have. The more you fight for control, the more frustrated you get. You need to accept what God is doing in your life. You may have questions, but don’t let them consume your thoughts. You have to enjoy the blessings of every day.”

On establishing good habits: “The more often you make the right decisions, the easier it gets. Not to say I’ve never made mistakes, but when I do I’m thankful for a forgiving God who is there for me.”






 
 






Erin Pac - Bobsled
Country:
United States
Born: May 30, 1980
Birthplace: Farmington, Conn.

Trivia:
• Ran track and field while attending Springfield College (Mass.) and pursuing a degree in rehabilitation and disabilities studies.
• Recently placed sixth at the 2009 World Championships in Lake Placid, N.Y.
• Won a bronze medal in February’s inaugural World Cup race in Whistler, Canada.

On how her faith affects her bobsled career: “I am a small part of something much bigger than myself. I always knew I was placed in the sport of bobsled for a specific reason, but I never knew why. Recently, I felt God saying to me, ‘Trust in Me, follow Me, and be My light.’ My faith in His guidance allows me to share with other athletes the value of having Christ in my life. I wish I could have realized this a long time ago. My heart is at rest knowing that He is my guide, and I don’t have to do it all on my own.”

On the value of Christian friends: “Since opening up my heart, God has placed so many wonderful Christian friends in my life. For the first time, I have a Christian support group. Christ’s love is something I knew of but never had. It’s so wonderful to know that someday I will get to meet Him and thank Him for His love.”

John Napier - Bobsled
Country: United States
Born: Dec. 12, 1984
Hometown: Schenectady, N.Y.

Trivia:
• Is an engineer in the Army and a member of the Army World Class Athlete Program.
• Reigning 2009 National Champion in the two-man bobsled.
• His father, Bill, who passed away when John was 17, was a bobsled driver from the 1960s through the 1980s.

On the challenges he faced in losing his father: “I lost my father when I was 17, and that definitely challenged me. But that struggle brought me closer to God. I’ve had some other struggles recently that have devastated me, but looking back on it, all of them have made me realize that God is great. He’s worked amazing things through those struggles, and I see that now.”


Read web article on Napier

 






Jeremy White - Bobsled
Country: United States
Born: Feb. 4, 1975
Birthplace: Clovis, N.M.
Hometown: Salt Lake City

Trivia:
• Recognized as the first U.S. athlete to be nationally ranked simultaneously in three sports (speedskating, skeleton and bobsled).
• Competed in 16 U.S. National Championships and five Olympic Trials.
• U.S. Army National Guard: Soldier and member of the Guard’s Outstanding Athlete Program.

On his faith: “Every morning, before my day begins, I lift my hands and tell God, ‘I give You my best today.’ I believe that’s all He expects from me. If I give Christ my best in all I do, I know He’ll take care of everything else. The only way my faith can grow is by seeking Him in all the challenges that come. As an athlete, I’ve learned that God is always faithful through both success and disappointment.”

On facing and overcoming challenges: “As an athlete, disappointing outcomes are always a challenge to my faith. Accepting defeat is not easy, but it’s all part of being in sports. My trust in God is what enables me to weather the storms.”

 


Jen Wygant - Biathlon
Country:
United States
Born: Feb. 10, 1984
Hometown: Burnsville, Minn.

Trivia:
• Also a registered nurse and officer in the UnitedvStates Army.
• Graduated in 2007 from Northern Michigan University where she competed on the crosscountry ski team.
• A member of the Army World Class Athlete Program.

On how her faith affects her athletic life: “There are two simple phrases that I use to remind myself that I can do nothing by myself and to keep my trust in God: ‘Let go and let God,’ and ‘Believe in the moment.’

“At a recent Bible study, we were discussing the concept of trusting God to provide when He calls you to act, and how what you do when He calls you to act directly represents your faith in Him. That is when the phrase ‘believe in the moment’ was said. Don’t only trust God to take care of you from one day to the next, but believe Him from one moment to the next and let your actions reflect that. That is the mindset I’m taking into my race season. I will live each moment with faith in God, and, whatever the results, I will trust Him.”









 

 
 









Brock Kreitzburg - Bobsled
Country: United States
Born: Feb. 16, 1976
Birthplace: Akron, Ohio

Trivia:
• Played wide receiver at the University of Toledo.
• Has won six FIBT World Cup gold medals.
• Qualified for his first Olympics in 2006.
• Once ran 26 mph for 6 seconds on a highspeed treadmill.

On his life verse: Philippians 4:6 – “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”

“With everything I’ve gone through, I’m always anxious, wanting to get to that next step, and I’m always trying to have a plan. With this verse, it’s like, ‘OK, slow down. You need to just pray about it and trust the Lord.’”

On dealing with two reconstructive hip surgeries in a four-month span: “Through this, God kind of stripped me of everything that was important to me. Bobsledding and my income had been my focus. God was saying, ‘Now, I’ve taken all of this from you. What do you have now? You have nothing but Me.’ It’s been a roller coaster ride, for sure, but I’ve developed such a deeper faith in the Lord.”

Cindy Klassen - Speed Skating
Country:
Canada
Born: Aug. 12, 1979
Birthplace: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Trivia:
• Won gold in 1,500m speed skating at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.
• Became the first Canadian to win five medals in one Olympics by picking up a gold, two silvers and two bronzes in 2006.
• Before pursuing speed skating, Klassen competed in field lacrosse, women’s ice hockey and inline skating.

On the role her faith plays in sports: “God is part of all of my life, including skating. He has given me this talent, and it is all about using it for His glory and doing it all for Him in both competition and training.
 
“Jesus is everything to me. I cannot get through one day without Him. I am so aware of His love for me and that He died on the cross for me. He is my Shepherd, and I am grateful to Him for everything.”

On prayer: “Prayer is talking to God and listening to Him. That is so important. I so admire (French monk) Brother Lawrence and the idea of practicing the presence of God and praying every moment of the day.”






 

 Olympians around the Web

 


Erin Pac - Bobsled
Postcard from Pac- read article


Chad Hedrick -
Speed Skating

Hedrick to make Olympic history-
read article



 
Kelly Clark - Snowboarding
Clark wins bronze - read article



--For more stories about faith and sport, visit
www.sharingthevictory.com, the official magazine of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. To subscribe to STV, click here.

Photos courtesy of the International Olympic Committee, Ursula Bruhin, Norm Hall, US Bobsled & Skeleton Federation, SRSC, Jen Wygant, Jeff Bough