South African Olympic swimmer Tatjana Schoenmaker, set a new record on Wednesday in the 200-meter breaststroke for women. Now, she is making use of her achievement to encourage others to follow Christ.
According to Sportsnet, Schoenmaker first finished the preliminary round with a time of 2:19.16. On Monday, she won the silver medal in the 100-meter breaststroke after setting yet another world record with a time of 1:04.82.
— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) July 28, 2021
Using her swim cap to proclaim her faith
Beneath her green South African swim cap, Schoenmaker has worn a second cap with the words "Soli Deo Gloria" which means "Glory to God" in English throughout her competitions in Tokyo, reports Faithwire.
Her white Speedo cap is emblazoned with a blue Jesus fish and the Latin words "Soli Deo Gloria" written on the side.
The Christian news website highlighted that Schoenmaker had previously utilized her platform to promote her Christian beliefs.
As she prepared to go to Tokyo for the summer Olympics, she shared a prayer on her Instagram account the previous week.
Her letter to God began with the words, "Father God, may Your will be done, may Your peace fill us up, may we praise You no matter what the outcome..."
All of the Olympians and athletes were remembered in her prayers as she asked God to empower them with his strength, so that they may give their all and be eternally in awe of his goodness.
"Thank You for bringing us to this very moment," she added.
Thank you for bringing us to this very moment
Ps. Wow this is still so unreal! There are no words to describe how we are feeling
Hope we can make you proud South Africa
Let’s go #teamrsa
DREAMS DO COME TRUE
— Tatjana Schoenmaker (@TRSchoenmaker) July 23, 2021
Continuing to strive for victory
As of July 28, Swimming World Magazine reports that Schoenmaker finished the semifinals with a time of 2:19.33, which is the third-fastest time in the sport's history.
According to the magazine, based on her previous performances, it seems that she will be very tough to defeat in the 200-meter dash for gold.
Few facts about the athlete
According to briefly.co, the 24-year-old athlete is from South Africa. Her parents are Christians and have always encouraged her passion for swimming.
She graduated in Tuks Sport High School in 2015. She then enrolled at the University of Pretoria to study Financial Science. Despite the COVID-19 shutdown, she managed to finish her studies in 2020.
Swimming wasn't her primary sport until her senior year of high school.
At the age of 16, she began swimming as a profession at Tuks Sport High School, where she won a gold medal in the 50m Breaststroke at the 2014 Africa Youth Games in Botswana. Since then, she has won many national and international swimming events. Her most notable achievement was qualifying for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Other Christian athletes to keep an eye on in Tokyo
The Gospel Coalition has made a list of six Christian athletes to root for during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics: Sydney McLaughlin (Track and Field, USA); Michael Andrew (Swimming, USA); Micah Christenson (Volleyball, USA); Melissa Gonzalez (Track and Field, Colombia); Helen Maroulis (Wrestling, USA); and Kyle Snyder (Wrestling, USA).
Each athlete has a unique story, yet they all praise God for their victories. This is what California Pastor Mario Murillo has been advocating for, that Christians succeed in all areas classified as "secularists," including sports.