Steven Lopez

Episode 25

22 JUL 2019

A five-time Olympian, he won a gold medal in taekwondo at the 2000 and 2004 Summer Games and then a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics.  He is also a five-time world champion.  Born in New York to Nicaraguan parents, he has had a lifelong walk with Christ as a Catholic and uses this CSR appearance to witness to such, including having had to get through an unfortunate incident last year.

Guest quotes:

“The most important thing has been my faith, with all the struggles, the challenges, the obstacles that we all face.  There isn’t one of us that is not without struggle.  And as an athlete, specifically, of course, … we can always push harder, we can do one more rep, we can run a little faster… And the same thing goes with the spirit.  And I think that’s THE most important thing… Are you gonna feed the soul?  Are you gonna feed the spirit?”

“Without our Lord and savior Jesus Christ that has given us this opportunity, this beautiful thing called life, then none of us would be here.  And so for me, every time that I would go out there and compete, it was an opportunity for me to showcase the talents that God has instilled in me.  And that’s a small way that I can go out there, perform, and give all glory to Him.”

“The more times that you avoid temptations, I think that spiritual muscle grows.”

“(my brother) and I would read the Bible every night.  I still do.  And every morning as soon as you open your eyes you just thank God for another day.”

“You have to be really cognizant that when you’re in church, you really are in church.”

“Through it all, like, it was just laced through my whole life, through my sports life, that, faith, belief in God, no matter what — because a lot of people feel good, when things are going well, ‘Thank you God,’ or, it could go the opposite, they feel that you did it all on your own and so you forget what got you there.  For me it’s when the things go well, thank God, and when things don’t go well, you thank God just the same.”

“A lot of times when we grow, when we get stronger, and when our faith is strengthened, is during those times of struggle.”

“Each and every one of us is a unique individual and masterpiece of God’s creation and we just have to look deep inside and see what those talents are, what the Spirit calls us to do, and use those gifts.”

“I remember praying that if I ever reached a certain level of success that I could have a platform that people would be willing to listen to me or to hear me or to see me compete that I would always bring glory to Him.”

“2008 for me was, even though I – and I’ll put this humbly – ‘only’ won the bronze, for me it was the best Olympics because I got to experience that Olympic Games alongside my younger brother and my younger sister and my older brother.”

“I feel that the faith really comes into action and you have to place your faith into action when things are going badly or things are going tough or you’re in a dark time.  That’s when the faith really gets tested.”

Related link:

Steven Lopez on Facebook

(This episode contains a prayer by Gregg Easterbrook from the NFL.com and ESPN.com column “Monday Morning Quarterback,” as seen in Play Like A Champion Today’s prayerbook for sports, God, Be In My Sport)

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