It happened July 11, 1924
Ninety years ago in Paris, France, God rewarded Olympiad Eric Liddell for following his Christian conscience. The Scottish runner risked the ire of his countyrmen by choosing not to run in the qualifying heats on Sunday.
Because Eric took a stand for Sunday, God arranged for him to qualify on a different day. In the actual race, Eric set a new record for the 400 meters race while winning a gold medal on Friday, July 11.
I celebrate Eric’s win in the remainder of this post with three things. I’ve included someone’s written description of his finish, a YouTube link showing original film footage of Eric winning his medal, and a link to short a bio of the Christian athlete who went on to become a missionary.
- In her book, The Flying Scotsman, Sally Magnusson captures the dramatic conclusion of Eric’s medal-winning race: “Eric Liddell somehow summoned up hidden reserves of strength and stamina. Head back, chin forward, mouth open, knees jumping, arms waving, he put on a spurt and started to increase his lead over Fitch. At the tape he was all of five metres ahead, and had won the Olympic title in a world record time of 47.6.” (page 53)
- Watch Eric’s actual win at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYNUxdoIacA.
- You can read more about Eric’s faith and his running skill in this biographical post.