Choosing Life Over Olympic
CBN.com Guest Writer
Suppose you had a chance to win a medal at the Athens Olympics.
Could anything make you turn it down?
Olympic success can bring fame, lifetime honor and lucrative endorsement
contracts. Olympic games usually bring many inspiring stories of victory
through determination and achievement despite adversity. Stars are born
and careers receive quantum boosts.
Consider British hurdler Tasha Danvers-Smith. She had been ranked sixth
in the world in her event. Her Olympic prospects looked bright.
But her ticket to the Athens track was never punched. It wasn't injury
or defeat that kept her from competing in the games. It was her personal
Tasha Danvers married her coach, Darrell Smith, in November 2003. In
early 2004, she was in excellent physical shape and keenly focused on
her training. Then, as she told the Telegraph newspaper, she felt "tired
all the time, feeling flat for no reason."
In the spring, a home pregnancy test showed positive and she learned
she was nine weeks pregnant. "I was in shock," reports Danvers-Smith.
"I only took the test because I wanted to stop myself from worrying
about it. Not for one minute did I think it would be positive." The
couple had not planned to start a family until after the Olympics.
Having a baby in December would eliminate her chances of competing in
Athens in August. It would increase their expenses and mean lean times.
They did not own a home and were living with her husband's parents. She – through
her athletic competition – was the main source of income.
As she put it, "When my body is my business, then if my body is
not functioning, there is no business."
Feeling devastated, the couple considered an abortion. It would seem a
simple solution to an inconvenient problem, a comparatively easy way to
eliminate an obstacle to the success and recognition she sought.
"The thought [of an abortion] did cross our minds as an option,"
recalls Danvers-Smith. "But this line from the Scriptures kept coming
into my head: 'For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole
world and lose his own soul?'"
She tried to convince herself that she should terminate her pregnancy
but struggled through her tears with an alternative she could not accept:
"For me, the whole wide world was the Olympics. At the same time,
I felt I would be losing my soul. It just wouldn't fit well. It would
be a forced decision and something that wasn't going to make me happy
Aiming now for the 2008 games, she seems happy with her choice and philosophical
about her mixed metaphor situation: "Life throws you curve balls
and you just have to roll with the punches."
Abortion is, of course, one of today's most controversial issues. But
regardless of one's views on this emotionally explosive topic, it seems
appropriate to admire the dedication of a woman who wrestled with an agonizing
decision and made her choice to bear her child and postpone possible future
glory and fortune.
Regardless of what success eventually comes her way, might that choice
become Danvers-Smith's lifetime golden moment?
Wright is an award-winning author, journalist, syndicated columnist and
university lecturer with Probe.org
who has spoken on six continents. He holds Bachelor of Science (psychology)
and Master of Theology degrees from Duke and Oxford universities, respectively.
Rusty Wright. Used by
permission. This article
first appeared on the Amy
Foundation Internet Syndicate.
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