The Olympic Promised Land

TimDo you recall the name Tim Dalrymple?

Stanford gymnast in the 1990s? Olympic prospect?

Today Timothy Dalrymple is …

… the manager of the Evangelical Portal at Patheos. Educated at Stanford, Oxford, Princeton Theological Seminary, and Harvard, he writes on religion, politics, culture, and faith.

Sho Nakamura recommended one of his recent articles titled The Olympic Promised Land.

… I knew that my gymnastics career was over — and my own Olympic Promised Land forever out of reach — when a team of men was screwing a “halo” into my skull and a neurosurgeon standing at the foot of my bed informed me that my neck was severely broken. An hour earlier I had walked into the hospital, every footfall sending long needles of pain up and down my spine, and asked for an x-ray. The radiologist gaped at what he saw: a part of a vertebra had slid forward to rest against the spinal cord, and fragments and chips were scattered inside my cervical spine like thorns in the grass. …

After a fusion surgery, I attempted briefly to return to the sport, urged on by a coach who told me that “We all break bones now and then.” Yet the pain grew excruciating, and it became clear that I would live the rest of my life with chronic pain. My career was over, my Olympic dreams finished. And my body was broken and could not be put back together. …

read the rest of this article

Sounds horrific. Yet the article is uplifting. (Sho found the article inspired him to continue his own physical rehabilitation from injury and return to competition.)

… In fact Tim is grateful for what the injury taught him. And how his life was redirected after retirement.

The Olympics, it turns out, was never the Promised Land. I found the Promised Land in that hospital room, and God used gymnastics to bring me there.

Published by

Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

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