Share this story
Close X
Switch to Desktop Site


Like the God-fearing protagonist Eric Liddell in the 1981 film "Chariots of Fire," decathlete Dave Johnson says he is Olympics-bound "for the glory of God."

"I think the Lord has put me into the decathlon to be the best I can be," says the 29-year-old athlete, who began competing 10 years ago after a childhood of gang activity that involved frequent burglaries and constant mischief. After a Christian conversion that turned his life around, Johnson felt it was his responsibility to use his athletic talent to become a role model for what kids can achieve with hard work and dedication.

About these ads

"I don't do drugs, alcohol, or steroids," says Johnson. "I honestly feel that when I first set myself under His plan, He gave me the ability to run, jump, and throw. I do those things to let others know the same turnaround can happen in their lives."

Unlike Liddell, a Scotsman who made world headlines when he refused to run on the Sabbath in the 1924 Paris Olympics, Johnson says he would compete on Sunday.

"[Liddell's] was Old Testament thinking," Johnson says. "Basically, it all comes down to listening to what the Lord is saying to you."

Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.