I imagine most people who followed the Olympics are familiar with the fall that took place during the women’s 5000-meter qualifying race. U.S. runner Abbey D’Agostino collided with Nikki Hamblin from New Zealand, causing both women to fall. Abbey instinctively jumped up right away, but instead of taking off running, she turned, saw competitor Nikki Hamblin lying on the track, and helped Nikki to her feet telling Nikki that they both had to finish the race. As it turned out, Nikki’s injuries were relatively minor while Abbey had a torn ACL. Yet both women eventually crossed the finish line.
The incident was heralded as a great demonstration of the Olympic Spirit. And it was. But the incident was also a tremendous demonstration of faith in action on a number of fronts, and one in particular.
An aspect of the story that received relatively little attention was that Abbey D’agostino, after tearing her ACL, managed to run for almost another 2000 meters. For those who may have difficulty visualizing how long 2000 meters is, consider this visual … with a torn ACL, she ran the length of over 21 football fields! As one sportswriter put it, she essentially ran 40% of the race on one leg and still set a pace that would win most local 5K races. She was so badly hurt that when she finally crossed the finish line, they had to bring her a wheelchair so she could get off the track.
When asked how she managed to complete this incredible feat, she said this:
Some people may be a bit cynical about whether Abbey’s ability to finish the race was really due to God’s intervention. After all, faith offers no definitive proof (otherwise it wouldn’t be faith!) But the Bible teaches us that if we want God to answer our prayers, we have to truly believe that He can. We have to sincerely and repeatedly turn the situation over to Him, knowing He hears us and will respond according to His will.
From everything I have heard and read about Abbey D'Agostino, she appears to be a person of deep faith who knows and trusts that God hears her prayers. Thanks to her faith, I believe we were all privileged to witness God in action on that track in Rio. If we want to witness God in action a little closer to home, we should follow Abbey's lead and try truly trusting God in whatever situation we want or need His help.