Virtual Voices

Winning the U.S. Open and thanking God

Sports

When my wife, Susan, and I interviewed late last month New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey, a strong Christian, we asked him whether an NPR interviewer questioned him about his faith.

Dickey replied, "I brought it up. They edited it out. I always look for opportunities to talk about my faith in a way that is congruent with the story or the question that they ask, because it is important to me that people know. Most of the time it will be edited out."

It's different with live interviews, of course. Yesterday, after Webb Simpson completed his final round of the U.S. Open and was waiting to see how contenders still on the course would finish, he told NBC's Bob Costas, "I prayed more the last three holes than I've ever done in my life. That really helped me stay calm."

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Simpson, who won the major championship by one stroke, didn't say anything about his faith at the televised greenside award ceremony, but when he later met with the press he spoke of how he was "thankful to God. I couldn't have done it without Him." Later, he tweeted, "Thankful to God for his grace in my life."

Dickey's thought-"talk about faith in a way that is congruent with the story or the question they ask"-is a good way to think about testifying at such moments. I haven't interviewed winning golfers, but I've interviewed lots of baseball players who, when asked how they stay calm, speak about the importance of prayer.

Outfielder J.D. Drew and pitcher Dickey both told me that in stressful moments on the field they sing hymns to themselves. (We've scheduled the Dickey interview for the issue of WORLD that goes to press the evening of July 10: That's the date of the All-Star game in which Dickey is likely to pitch.)

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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