Catholics Setting Records in the Olympics

News: World News
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by Aaron Maxwell  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  August 17, 2016   

RIO DE JANEIRO (ChurchMilitant.com) - The world's fastest man is Catholic. Before he begins a competition, he says a prayer to The Holy Trinity. He is also devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary and is usually seen wearing the miraculous medal, a Catholic devotional medal to Mary.

Usain St. Leo Bolt was born in Sherwood Content, Trelawny, Jamaica. Born Catholic, he was given the middle name St. Leo in honor of St. Leo the Great, the 45th pope.

Bolt, who competed in this year Olympics, makes the Sign of the Cross before he competes in any race, demonstrating his devotion. He also wears the Miraculous Medal, in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The design of the Miraculous Medal was given by Mary to a French saint, Catherine Labouré, in the year 1830, after three apparitions.

Bolt also know as "Lighting Bolt," or the world's fastest man, and won another Olympic gold medal Sunday. With his win in Rio de Janeiro, Bolt became the first person to win three consecutive Olympic gold medals in the 100-meter dash. Bolt's past achievements have included winning three gold medals in Beijing in 2008 and three more in London in 2012.

Simone Biles, another Olympic gold medalist, is also Catholic. She is a U.S. Olympic gymnast and has won 14 medals:10 gold, two silver and two bronze. Five of Biles' medals were won in Rio de Janeiro in this year's Olympics: four gold and one bronze. Biles said she sometimes carries with her a statue of St. Sebastian, the patron saint of athletes, and always carries in her gym bag a Rosary her mother gave her.

Saint James the Apostle Church in Spring, Texas is where Biles and her family attend Mass. Father Charles Semperi, priest of St. James, commented on Biles, "She was very good in Confirmation class," and the family worships every Sunday. Father Semperi also describes the Biles family as "very faithful Catholics who are always at Mass."

 

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Aaron Maxwell

Aaron Maxwell is a member of the PAUSE Program and a staff writer for ChurchMilitant.com.