Rooting for Catholic Olympians

The Author

Wife, Photographer, Reader, Laptop Theologian, Texas Longhorn, Loves to Travel, Sometimes Musician, Native Austinite, ACNM Board Member and Dislikes Ketchup, Mustard & Mayo. Seeking a life of holiness to hopefully be a saint in Heaven with God. Catch me on Twitter @ritamgs. "You cannot be half a saint. You must be a whole saint or no saint at all." -St.Therese of Lisieux
Yuna Kim in a veil while praying

Yuna Kim in a veil while praying

Like most Americans, my husband and I really enjoy watching the Olympics. Like most men and women, I enjoy watching figure skating and he doesn’t care too much about it. But last night he sat and watched and rooted with me for the American women’s figure skaters and a staunchly Catholic Yuna Kim of South Korea.

At the end of the performances he turned to me and said, “More than I want the Americans to win, I want the Catholic to win.”

“Me too,” I replied.

A few days ago Catholic News Agency wrote about Yuna Kim, her faith and all that she has done. I found and read several other articles about Yuna and the more I learned about her, the more I admired her for using her celebrity for such amazing good and being an example of living the Catholic faith. A convert to the Catholic faith in 2008, she is one of the most famous South Koreans. She’s volunteered and donated to Catholics hospitals, universities and other charitable organizations. And though she had retired after winning the gold medal at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, she came back to figure skating to be a positive example to young woman.

Yuna Kim at Vancouver Olympics

Yuna Kim at Vancouver Olympics

Yuna’s an amazing athlete, but also an amazing woman of faith. Watch her closely before her Olympic performance tonight and you might catch her doing the sign of a cross, praying before she performs. Millions of people, including many non-Catholics, worldwide are watching her and she’s not afraid to share this simple symbol of our Catholic faith.

How many of us are scared to do the same sign of the cross when we are out to eat in a restaurant? How many of us are concerned with giving time or money to the Catholic Church and charitable organizations? And how many of us aren’t examples of living the Catholic faith?

Yes, even for us American Catholics, Yuna Kim can teach us something about living our Catholic faith publicly.

And with courage like that, how can you not root for a woman of faith? I’m not rooting for the Americans to lose (they all seem like lovely young woman and Polina Edmunds does attend a Catholic high school), I’m just rooting for a Catholic to win.

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  • DanC

    You’re in a minority if you are rooting on the basis of religion rather than nationality.

    Rooting in sports competitions is a form of tribalism. As American Catholics we have more in common with American Jews, American Baptists, American Hindus, and America atheists than we do with Catholics in Poland or Uganda or Bolivia or The Phillipines. A lot more in common. Culture gives us our identity more than faith does.

    I don’t care at all about an athlete’s religion, and I bet most viewers don’t either. But when it comes to The Olympics, I support the USA.

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