Athlete Profiles:

Amber Neben

Ranked as one of the best cyclists in the world, Amber Neben is on her way to accomplishing great things in the world of cycling. She doesn't flaunt her abilities or achievements, but rather sees herself as a Christian simply following God's will for her life.

Neben didn't start out on this path. She was a long-distance runner and planned to make that her career. However, she developed devastating stress fractures in her legs in 1995 that ruined those chances. She still believed that God had something for her in the world of sports, though. That's when she discovered her love for riding. She prayed for 6 months before deciding that the Lord's will was for her to take the new path in cycling.

Now, after continued challenges, including testing positive for 19-norandrosterone, Neben says she identifies most with two characters from the Bible: Joseph and David. When Joseph faced in justice, "he never stopped trusting in the Lord," she says. And David going from shepherd boy to king is "proof that God does the extraordinary with the ordinary." Though Neben may see herself as ordinary, God is doing extraordinary things with her life.


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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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