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These are the Olympic medals:
1. Preparation for the Olympics
The awarding to a city or region of the Olympic Games is a high honor and responsibility. Businesses and government must quickly plan for every detail. Jobs are created almost immediately and later visitors bring their currencies to pay for food, lodging, and tickets to events. As we are finding regarding the 2022 Winter Olympics, hosting the Olympics also brings hard to pay debt to the host country.
At the same time athletes are deciding whether to "go for it" and dedicate the next few years attempting to compete alongside others who are making the same decision. They must not only train their bodies but they must also train their minds to think positively and their wills not to bow to exhaustion and pain. Those who are successful may be rewarded with medals, homes, lucrative contracts, or almost nothing. Those who are not successful must wait another 4 years to compete again.
Equipment and clothing manufacturers design technologically advanced "uniforms" for every sport which streamline the athlete's movement through the air, water, on grass, pavement, etc. Mark Spitz wore trunks for swimming that were available in any store. Mark Phelps wore special trunks designed to let him pass through the water as quickly as possible. Competition time differences of as little as a hundredth of a second can separate medal winners!
Christian organizations and individuals plan for outreach before, during, and after the Olympics. They try and communicate the love of God through Jesus Christ to athletes, local workers, and visitors from many countries as well as photographers and journalists who constantly travel the world. This is done through street performers, current or previous Olympians speaking, literature hand outs or through friendships and service. I was a security guard at the summer Olympics in Atlanta in 1996 with YWAM (Youth with a Mission). I took almost a month off work by planning ahead. I was a performer in Salt Lake City in 2002 with Lay Witnesses for Christ for 3 weeks. If you choose to do this, you will pay for all your travel costs, room and board and materials, special clothing, and you will probably be sleeping on the floor getting very little sleep due to the many shifts volunteers work. You will probably get a transportation pass and lunch somewhere not very close. You may be very hot or very cold depending on your work assignment. You will be able to purchase event tickets that are still available after you find out your work schedule. In Atlanta I bought tickets for $25 for events within the Olympic Circle that played on my days off. I only attended 2 of the 3, choosing to do laundry during one game. I got there as it ended. Others chose not to do laundry even once. The events I watched were exciting once I understood the rules. In Salt Lake City I only attended one event and I got standing room only on a ski slope. All will seem easy until the millions arrive. Remind yourself that you are on an adventure!
The athletes themselves who are believers may also choose to prepare themselves to reach out to other athletes in the times that they spend time together due to competing in the same events.
2. Summer schedule
2000 Sydney, Australia
2004 Athens, Greece
2008 Beijing, China
2012 London, England
2016 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2020 Tokyo, Japan
3. Winter schedule
2002 Salt Lake City, Utah
2006 Torino, Italy
2010 Vancouver, B.C.
2014 Sochi, Russia
2018 Pyeongchang, S Korea
2022 Beijing, China
4. More than Gold
More Than Gold is a coalition of Christian groups that agree to combine their resources to use the same literature to be handed out at the Olympics in multiple languages. Decisions and agreements are made ahead of time and when you arrive you are informed of those decisions. More than Gold may have a more difficult task than you can imagine as Christian outreach may be viewed as complicating putting on the Olympics. As the days go by, you may have some challenges and decisions to make. I advise prayer and perseverance unless conditions are truly extreme. Improvise!
There is no platinum medal at the Olympics. Athletes only compete for a few days after training for four years or for a series of four year periods if they return. Athletes win worldwide recognition, respect in their home country as well as the medal itself and other possibly significant gratuities (a house, contacts with businesses, appearances, etc.). As wonderful as they are, these things only last for this life, except for the compilation of the history of each sport. In addition, the successful athlete may experience some disappointment after winning as human beings are complex and even winning isn't what they thought it would be. In addition, the sacrifice required to attain such a high level of performance may make adjustment difficulties as the normal life others have been living may be unfamiliar. There may be finances that require attention.
I checked the spot prices of the Olympic medal metals and they are always changing and only approximate:
bronze (Aluminum Bronze Solids) 1.70 2.27 lbs USD Aug 8, 2008 (that's 1.70/(2.27x16)=.047/oz or about 5 cents an ounce USD.
silver 13.470/oz USD
gold 891.40/oz USD
platinum 1232.00 oz/USD
I added platinum, to the list! You may say, well platinum isn't that much more costly than gold, but remember Mark Phelps' final lunge in the butterfly that won him the gold by a fingernail's lead which in time was a 1/100th second lead. He did not just win the gold medal; he won a place history due to his unexpected superior performance. It was so new it was called "Phelpsian." I would like to call it the Platinum move that put Mark Phelps over the top, over the close excellent competitors!
In our lives we wish to know God and to live forever. But how to win that goal we do not know. So we do good works and try to be a good person. In so far as we compare ourselves with the behavior of others we award ourselves nothing, bronze, silver, or gold.
But God says all that we do is insufficient (Isaiah 64:6) , Old Testament, the Bible). God's Phelpsian move was Jesus Christ dying for you on the Cross. I'm calling it God's Platinum move to bring you to himself.
Your Platinum move is the lunge by you into God's arms. This is done by faith. Mark Phelps thought he lost the race when he lunged with one more stroke, but he won. It may have been a desperation move since he doesn't like to lose. You may not be sure about God, but he is sure about you and is waiting to receive you the moment you are ready to come to him. You are ready when you want to, but only through Jesus Christ.
This Platinum move can happen in a moment, your moment, wherever you are, not just during a 17 day competition. And platinum can come to all, not just those who are extraordinary in some physical respect. I would say that Olympic Platinum is the moment you come to God, turning your life over to him through Jesus Christ. And God delivers!
Andrew Weibrecht, 2014 U.S.A. Olympic Ski Team welcomed back in Squaw Valley, CA
(This photo has been reduced in data 90% for cell phones with limited data; under 5kb is ideal.)
Yes, that is the founder, webmaster of JesusIsLord.org and sochiolympics.us was my website for the Sochi Olympics. Too bad Putin disallowed witnessing!
Last updated: 05/10/2017
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