Athlete Profiles:

Allyson Felix

Three bright stars of the 2004 Olympics look back on Athens and ahead, perhaps all the way to China.

If you blinked, you might have missed the blur that is Allyson Felix, the shining hope of US Track and Field. The pretty young athlete is self-effacing in a world where sprinters practically jump up and down, crowing, "Look at me!" Felix routinely deflects the adulation to the One who gave her wings to fly. "I always try to give God all the glory."

Cat Reddick was a huge part of the US Women's Soccer team winning a gold medal in Athens. In the gold medal game against Brazil, she subbed in during the second half and witnessed Abby Wambach's deciding goal off her head. She stands for God as well. "I've been able to work for Him," she says.

Having won a gold medal in Sydney in 2000, US Diver Laura Wilkinson stood poised to repeat, this time in Athens. However, a miscue resulted in a fifth-place finish. Now she is training for the 2008 Games in China. She knows that Someone is with her. "I know I'm never alone up there," she says. "God is going through it all with me."


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Tim Tebow

TEBOW / MCCOY
As the current quarterbacks for the last two national championship teams, Colt McCoy and Tim Tebow have taken center stage in two of the most intensely scrutinized college football programs in America. Even as sophomores, this concept is not lost on McCoy and Tebow. They know they are being watched. They also know that with the immediate access they have to so many people, the opportunities to be a model and a spokesperson for Jesus Christ are preeminent. "In some places it's not the cool thing to do or the popular thing to be and God is not No. 1," says McCoy.

Tebow and McCoy were both hatched from close-knit, deeply Christian upbringings that saw them come to faith at an early age. Tim Tebow's fater, Bob Tebow, heads the Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association, which claims to be the conduit of close to 9 million people coming to faith in Christ in the last 8 years.

An NFL career is a goal for both of these young quarterbacks, but they are realistic enough to know there are no guarantees. McCoy looks forward to what God has in store. "God willing, I'd like to be in the NFL, but the important thing to do is His will."

Shaun Alexander

ALEXANDER
Whether Shaun Alexander spends his Sunday morning wearing a football jersey on a field or a suit in a pew, he's the same guy. "Shaun is a Christian 24/7," says close friend and teammate Mack Strong. "He's a great example. It's a testimony to him, to God."

Alexander has made a lasting name for himself in the NFL. The accomplishments and praises he's received are only dreams for many. He's not surprised by his success; he's always set lofty goals and worked hard. Now he's a household name, but he says, "This is no time to say, 'Look at me.'" That's because, for Alexander, it's not just about football. "I play football to make a difference in people's lives."

The difference he wants to make is a difference for Christ. He has a heart for providing hope, especially for youth, and giving to others as unto the Lord. That's the purpose of his foundation and the community center he started with his brother. "You can't outgive God," he says.

The best day in his life? Being valedictorian of his graduating class? Setting NFL records? Becoming 2005 MVP? No. "It was the first time I led someone to Christ," says Alexander. What else would we expect?

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