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Rio Olympic Health Concerns

CBN News anchor Efrem Graham talks with Gordon Robertson about the anxieties surrounding athletes and visitors to this year’s Olympic Games in Rio. Read Transcript

Well Efrem is with us now.

And Efrem would you go to Rio?

Would you take the trip down there?

Alone maybe.

Not with family.

I'd risk myself, but I wouldn't want to risk them.

They're talking of course the Zika virus.


And then the headline in the news earlier this week

was keep your mouth closed to the folks who

are going to be involved in water sports,

because there is such sewage and human contamination

in the water from the 12 million residents

that they haven't been able to clean up

that you risk infection.

I think I read--

Gordon Roberston: In the Olympic pool?

Efrem Graham: Not the pool.


Not the pool.

Grateful for that.

But you're talking about rowing and windsurfing.

Those kinds of things you do run the risk

of water getting in your mouth.

I think even some members of the Austrian and Spanish sailing

team have already gotten sick just from practicing.

There's like 2 million times what's

allowed for the contamination in that water

than what you would find in American water.

Not that's just sickening.



I would stay away.

Got a half million people, yeah, a half a million people

going and 1,400 athletes who will be there

from all over the world risking sickness

if they were to drink the water.

If they were to get stung by a mosquito

that's carrying the Zika virus.

For me I'm already wary of the Zika virus

and it's not just OK, if I go and I get infected,

OK it's on me.

But I worry that I would bring it back.



And I could infect somebody else.


We're watching outbreaks in parts of Miami.

I think I heard the mayor letting people

know be careful in this particular area,

because we have confirmed cases of the Zika virus here.


Gordon Roberston: And if it spreads from Miami

to other parts of Florida, then what

does that do for the state?

What does it do for tourism?

How does that have a long term impact?

Efrem Graham: Absolutely.

Gordon Roberston: And that would be--

Efrem Graham: Frightening.


Well we've got many Christian athletes who are not only

wanting to win gold, but they're also

hoping to glorify God on this world stage.

And give us the inside track.

Who should we look out for?

Well of course you saw Gabby Douglas.

That was why I featured her in the top five.

She's got such an amazing story.

There's so many athletes with great stories.

I mean just to get there, number one.

I mean they spend their lives practicing.

And I mean she comes from an impoverished background, raised

by a single mom, and she makes it there.

And people like Cullen Jones, an Olympic swimmer,

who at five nearly drowned.

But I had an opportunity to interview him

and his story wasn't even so much concerned about drowning,

he was a witness to his father for Christ.

His mom raised him in the church and he said to his dad,

he said, you know Dad, I don't worry about my mom salvation

and seeing her again, this is him

telling his father as a kid.

I don't worry about that, but I worry about you.

You don't come to church with us.

You don't participate in Bible study.

I'm worried about you.

Well his dad, after that one conversation,

began to go to church every Sunday.

Accepted Christ.

His father ended up dying before he could grow up

and-- for his father to see him grow up

and compete in the Olympics.

He ended up dying, but knowing that I witnessed to my dad.

I helped Christ save my father.

It's such a beautiful story there.

And then even outside of the Olympics.

Remember Shawn Johnson, she retired from the Olympics

right before going in 2012.

And she had won three silvers and a gold.

And in practice, not being able to do it just stuck.

And she said it was because she realized, OK I

spent my life for this gold and even when I got the gold

I remember them giving it to me and it not being as fulfilling.

And she said in that moment I felt God give me the release

and saying, it's OK.

You did it.

You did it.

It's OK for you to walk away.

So in 2012 she retired when everyone

expected her to go back and do it all over again.

And she said, why go back and do it all over again?

I got the gold when it wasn't that fulfilling.

It's Christ who really sustains and fulfills me.

Most people don't understand the sacrifice

that you have to do in order to achieve that.


It's all day, every day.


That is your life.

It makes everything else seem pale in comparison.

And that constant striving for perfection--


In every single movement.



And to put on top of that, I mean,

then we as fans and followers make it even harder,

because we can be so critical of their performance.

We're watching.

And without sometimes giving thought to what you say

and what you put out on social media.

That's a human being you're talking about

and they've got real feelings and emotions.

Sure they're Olympians and they're great.

It's also very human--


For us to-- we always go to the flaw.

We always remember the mistake.


When we talk about people, we tend

to talk about what they've done wrong.


We don't tend to talk about here's

all the great things they did.

We tend to emphasize what's wrong.

What's your favorite sport?

What do you watch?

Swimming, because I love Cullen Jones.

I just think he's so great.

And Gabby Douglas.

My daughter is not an Olympian by any stretch,

but loves gymnastics.

Loves to dance.

So I tend to watch it through my kids eyes and those are two

that they're big fans of.

So we look forward to those.

How about you?

Because of my son, he's real big into track and field

and he likes to throw the discus and shot-put.

A sport I've never had much interest in,

but because he is just so devoted to it.

He's pretty good too.

He's not Olympic.

No, but great.

He would need another eight inches in height.

He's better than I could do.

But I'm very proud of him.

He's done great.

And so because of him, I'm going to be watching those.

And he's really educated me on the form and technique.

And to watch him work out, which is just at the college level,

for him it's five to six hours on a daily basis

that he wants to put into the sport.

He doesn't like it when he has to do other things

and not work out.

That's dedication.

And the Olympians are really going for it.



We've got-- I've saved the best for last.

Harry Potter's out again.


And Christian parents across America

want to know, what should we do?

My thing is I really feel like it's-- I've blogged about this,

but I feel like it's an individual choice.

You need to know what your child is capable of, whether or not

your child-- how influenced they are.

And for me, I would have read every single one of them

if my son or daughter told me that they wanted to read it,

because I'd want to go through it with them.

And that would be my approach to it.

So I can't say that you should or you shouldn't, but I

say I wouldn't let my child read anything

that I was not going to sit down and read and go through with.

Even, I'm thinking, my son and video games.

I'm not a video gamer, but I do want

to see what he's playing the game, what's involved.

And I say I would exercise the same practice.

All right?

You want to read this, let's read it together.

Let's go through it together and talk it out.

Well what do you say to people that point out J.K. Rowling

is a Christian?


She was raised Anglican.

She now goes to the Church of Scotland.

And she has intentionally put redemptive themes

within the books and even Resurrection themes

within the book.

And very specifically talking about life after death.

How would you respond to that?

I say those are key things to point out and focus on,

but then there are also elements--

you can read everything in there is a teachable moment.

It really is.

I will say, I used to teach reading

before becoming a journalist, and I

have to add I just get so excited to see

in this day and age when there are so many people not reading.

You're only concerned about video games,

you're only concerned about 48 characters or less.

Actually sitting down to read a book of that death,

I applaud it.

I think that's a good thing.

We don't read enough anymore.

We simply don't.

I agree.

At the same time, when my kids were

trying to get into Harry Potter, I was like no.

We're not going to learn about casting spells.

I can understand.

I can understand.

You're not going to imitate that.

This is pure fiction.


And you need to understand that.

But there's such a strong pull to shamanistic,

for lack of a better term.

Shamanistic techniques that somehow

or other some secret wisdom or secret power.

And I can get that and I can use that.

I think that's-- for me, that's where Harry Potter,

you've got to draw the line.

And walk your kids through it.



This is pure make believe.

It's OK to clap for Tinkerbell.

But yes.

But you've got to draw the line.

Separate life from fiction.

And let's go to church.


And let's learn real stuff.


Well if you want to watch Efrem's weekly show, Studio 5,

there are a few ways you can see it.

You can watch it on Roku, Apple TV, or go to CBN.COM/STUDIO5.

And on Roku and Apple TV, you first

have to download the watch CBN app and it will be on there.

Efrem, great having you on the show.

Great to be here.

Thank you.


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