“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work.”
Keeping the Sabbath Day holy is as important now as it was in Moses’ day.
While most Olympians compete on Sunday, there are a courageous few Olympians who’ve refused to compete on Sunday. Meet four Olympians who “remember[ed] the sabbath day, to keep it holy.”
Olympians honoring the Sabbath Day
Eric Liddell- Scotland
Eric Liddell competed in the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris. Eric refused to run the 100 meter dash (his best event), because it was scheduled for Sunday. The other event Eric could compete in was the 400 meter dash. As Eric went to the starting blocks for the 400 meter dash, a man gave him a piece of paper quoting 1 Samuel 2:30, saying “Those who honor me, I will honor.” Inspired by this message, Eric sped through the 400 meters in 47.6 seconds- winning a gold metal and setting a world record.
Peter Vidmar- USA
Peter Vidmar competed in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Since an early age, Peter decided to not train on Sunday. Peter won a gold medal for his pommel horse routine (gymnastics), scoring a perfect 10. Peter’s the only American gymnast in Olympic history to have scored a perfect 10.
Noni Wharemate and Charmian Purcell- New Zealand
Noni Wharemate and Charmian Purcell competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Noni and Charmian asked to sit out for their team’s final basketball game because it was scheduled for Sunday. Their team respected their wish to keep the Sabbath Day holy.
“We are all missionaries. Wherever we go we either bring people nearer to Christ or we repel them from Christ.”
- Eric Liddell
Personal Notes: I remember choosing to not join the All-Star Little League baseball team because they competed on Sundays. I’m so grateful to be able to rest from work, school and sports on Sundays! I feel spiritually strengthened as I read scriptures, attend church, and do other appropriate activities on the Sabbath. I believe if we honor the Sabbath Day, the Lord will bless your life in countless ways.