Last week, when American Ryan Murphy won the Olympic gold medal in the 100 meter backstroke, NBC showed pictures of a book that he made for his mother when he was 8, titled “My Swimming Life.” He drew a picture of himself doing the backstroke and wrote, “I hope my swimming life continues and I become an Olympian when I grow up. I hope I will break the world records. I want to be the best swimmer in the world.”
We love stories like that.
The same night, David Boudia and Steele Johnson won the silver medal in synchronized diving. The reporter asked David Boudia, “What does it mean to come out and medal here in the synchro event?”
David Boudia said, “I just think the past week, there’s just been an enormous amount of pressure, and I’ve felt it. You know, it’s just an identity crisis. When my mind is on this, thinking I’m defined by this, then my mind goes crazy, but we both know our identity is in Christ.
The reporter then asked Steele Johnson, “Well, Steele, your first ever Olympic event, how were you able to maintain your composure so well?”
Steele Johnson, “I think the way David just described it was flawless. The fact that I was going into this event knowing that my identity is rooted in Christ and not the result of this competition, it just gave me peace. It gave me ease, and it let me enjoy the contest. If something went great, I was happy. If something didn’t go great, I could still find joy because I’m at the Olympics competing with the best person, the best mentor, just one of the best people to be around.
“So, God’s given us a cool opportunity, and I’m glad I could’ve come away with an Olympic silver medal in my first ever event.”
Boudia/Steele had a completely different type of motivation.
It allowed them to find joy whether they won or not.
And their joy will last forever.