Integrating Faith on the Court


Beach volleyball star Elodie_Li_Yuk Lo discusses how she battled the feeling of having to choose her faith or her volleyball career.

I grew up in the usual church routine but never really had a personal faith. And with many volleyball tournaments on the weekends, I often had to miss church. I always felt like I had to choose between my sport and my faith, and I felt guilty that I had a lot of weekend games.
I committed to my faith in 2008 in Toronto, where I grew up and went to college. I had moved to Toronto to work as a teacher and was introduced to Athletes in Action in town. A girl named Morgan came to talk to the volleyball team that I was helping coach, and I stayed to hear the presentation. Learning how I could integrate my faith and my sport was an amazing blessing. The fact that I could use my sport as a ministry was also good to know.
That was a huge weight lifted off of me. We learned a lot that made me change my perspective on how I viewed my sport. Before, I was sort of idolizing it. Through the teaching, I learned that I could use my sport to glorify and praise the Lord and play for Him instead of trying to please my coach, my parents or my teammates. It’s still something I’m mastering, especially in volleyball, because it’s such a mental game. But it is such a wonderful feeling to be able to really get your head around it and enjoy the game.
I have played volleyball since age 12 and was introduced to beach volleyball by my college coach as a way of training during the off-seasons. The Olympics have been a dream since grade school, and I loved all sports. I remember watching the 1996 Atlanta Games on TV as a child and wanting to be there someday, but I thought maybe it would be in swimming. It’s such a crazy feeling to realize that dream is actually coming true.
For the Olympics, I am hoping to keep my eyes open to what God would have me do to use this platform for Him. It's been so encouraging to see Christian athletes come out and be bold. I am shy by nature, but I am hoping through my actions and by showing people God's love to make a difference for Him. I've been praying to be able to seize the opportunity He puts in front of me.
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