Anna Cummins

Episode 154

10 JAN 2022

She was an Olympic silver and gold medalist at the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Olympics and a three-time world rowing champion. She had won four NCAA national titles while rowing at the University of Washington and was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame as well as the National Rowing Hall of Fame.  The highlight of her career came at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, where she was the only American woman to race in two events. In one of those, she and her teammates won gold, which was USA’s first in that discipline since 1984 and the first time ever with a race distance of two thousand meters.

Guest quotes:

“They decided that our family needed something more, and at that point in time started bringing us to church regularly on Sundays.”

“He said, ‘Here’s the deal. The new priority in our life goes God first, then family, then school, and then sports’.”

“We all need God so deeply.  And it’s the only thing that’s going to fill so many holes in our life.”

“God is so perfect.  Like, we have no business, like, He’s so good, He’s so perfect.”

“When I knew that, ‘Okay, you need Jesus to be in a right relationship with God,’ like, I love it, I want it, that’s what I want.  I want that.”

“So, once I rowed at UW, I’m in the Christian house, and wanting to keep my faith — because I am a follower of Jesus at that point — and so I found a small athletes’ group on campus called Athletes In Action… It’s a non-denominational Christian group… and that was a really neat way to stay strong in my faith.”

“I had my Bible and I had my praise and worship music and so when I was around Athens and Beijing (at the Olympics), I would have my kind of my rule-of-life kind of thing, of, you wake up and you do your devotional and you read these scriptures and you pray on these.”

“In May 2021 after 14 years of attending a Catholic Mass at some wonderful churches, honestly, all over the U.S., God brought me into His home… the Catholic Church is home and that’s where I fell in love all the way deeply with the Mass and what God does in the sacrifice of the Mass and how beautiful it is that He comes to be with us.”

“When I was a baby Christian and athlete, I liked anything in scripture that talks about winning stuff or running… but of course as we grow in faith, then God can speak to us in different ways through things.”

(This episode contains a prayer originally excerpted and adapted from Day By Day: The Notre Dame Prayerbook for Students by Thomas McNally, as seen in Play Like A Champion Today’s prayerbook for sports, God, Be In My Sport)