Maya DiRado has been a poster child for success since the day she was born. She skipped second grade, started high school at just 13, graduated from Stanford and now she’s a gold medalist.
But to DiRado, that’s not what really matters—her faith in God does.
“I was raised by two strong Christians in my parents, Marit and Ruben,” DiRado told Christianity Today. “I always attended church growing up but started questioning my beliefs as a teenager. They were supportive of this, and, through some investigating and lots of reading and talking with mentors, I came to know and follow Christ and make my faith my own.”
Now, Christ is the sole driver of her success.
Though she was clearly emotionally overwhelmed by the grand achievement, her faith in God far surpasses the glory of the gold, and she’s confident that His purpose for her is higher.
“I don’t think God really cares about my swimming very much,” Maya told Yahoo Sports. “This is not my end purpose, to make the Olympic team. My God is powerful and in control, but I don’t think he cares whether I win. It’s interesting theology you can get into when it’s a God of victory in your sport.”
Those words of wisdom from the 23-year-old swimmer have inspired millions, and even evangelist Franklin Graham gave her a shoutout on social media along with this message of encouragement:
“God loves you—He cares about your eternal soul. That’s even bigger news than the Olympics. Share it with others today.”
Even though it’s pretty amazing to win an Olympic gold, DiRado knows there’s a much greater calling to her life than worldly achievements, and that’s such a beautiful reminder to us all.
In response to her bold statement, Christianity Today asked DiRado what God does care about, and her reply to this was equally powerful:
“I think God cares about my soul and whether I’m bringing his love and mercy into the world. Can I be a loving, supportive teammate, and can I bless others around me in the same way God has been so generous with me?”
What a stellar example this young woman has set for America to put God over gold. We do serve a “God of victory”…but He’s more concerned with winning souls.