Olympic figure skating star hailed as example for Catholics

Washington D.C., Feb 16, 2014 / 04:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Catholic Olympian and international skating superstar Kim Yuna is a role model not only of dedication and athleticism but also an example of how to live the faith publicly, a fan says.

Seminarian for the Archdiocese of Detroit and blog writer Evan Pham told CNA on Feb. 11 that he was struck by Kim’s simple act of praying on ice during the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

He said that he was inspired when he and his family saw “a clip of her doing the sign of the cross” and bowing her head immediately before competing the finals for the ladies’ skating title, which she won.



That’s awesome and inspiring… If I would have known all of that I would have been rooting for her… I guess I will have to wait 4 years

She is truly a wonderful example. A silly story: soon after her conversion in 2008, Yuna began wearing her rosary ring all the time, even in public photos. Many secular media outlets confused it for an engagement ring, and started speculating as to who her husband was! :stuck_out_tongue:

I wonder if that’s one reason why Muslims are very open about praying in public.
Perhaps they hope to inspire and be a good example for others of their faith–and people of other faiths–by living their own faith so “publicly” and with such confidence.


I saw a few skaters making the sign of the cross before their performance at this olympics.

Oksana Baiul and Johnny Weir have also crossed themselves before skating their programs.

perhaps, but from the muslims i know, a lot like to brag about how much they pray or how much they fast instead

Seems a lot of athletes are pointing to the sky these days after a touchdown, striking someone out, etc. Some baseball players cross themselves before they step up to the plate. I wouldn’t automatically call these great examples, unless it’s asking God to be doing their best. I don’t think it’s a valid prayer to want to defeat an opponent or hope he performs badly but I might be a minority here.

I wouldn’t say that these athletes are praying for the defeat of their opponent per se, but for their own success, according to the Lord’s Will. It’s a significant reverence to God, not a wish of bad luck for the other competitors.

A good sportsman hopes he and his opponents perform at their best. If he’s beaten he congratulates his opponent; if he wins, he’s humble about it. FWIW, football penalizes those who taunt their opponents in any way. Athletes tend to do that a lot.

Exactly as I said. They pray for their own success, to the extent that He wills, and they don’t wish anything against their opponent. We’re saying the same thing.

What a lovely young woman and a wonderful artist and athlete. It’s an apologetic, yet quiet way to witness her faith. Also it is very refreshing to see a young person volunteer and do charitable work.


Seeing someone pray doesn’t mean you know what their prayers are.
An athlete may be praying that they won’t get injured, or that she’ll do her best performance and give glory to God whatever the outcome, etc. If I stepped up to the plate and knew someone might throw a 100 mph ball toward me, I’d probably pray that the ball wouldn’t hit me. :ouch:

I like seeing outward signs of prayer from public figures.

Although I’m a musician, I do think the way athletes and musicians pray before their performance in athleticism or music is very similar. I know for myself and many others I work with who do pray before the “performance”, it’s a prayer to God thanking Him for this gift and to allow me to praise Him to the fullest extent that I can give. I tell Him that I know what He gave to me, He can take away and that I don’t take this gift for granted. I pray that I can be used as an ego-less conduit to spread His love and beauty to His people through the music. On the other end, I also pray that my nerves don’t get the best of me and that I don’t mess up horribly. For most people I know in the musical world who believe in God and have a spirituality, it is fairly similar. I know an older singer with a funny sense of humour who said she’d always say to Him, “You put me here, now please help me get through it.” :stuck_out_tongue:

Edit: Gosh, I can’t believe I forgot… and because it is often a “team” effort, I often pray for everyone in my “team” to do well.

It is hard to know what these public figures are praying for and what kind of faith and prayer life they have besides what we see. It can be kind of a private matter.

Have any of you seen Truth or Dare by Madonna? It’s been years, decades maybe, since I’ve seen it so I apologize if my recollection isn’t perfect. In the documentary it shows her praying with her backup singers and dancers before concerts. It’s sort of interesting because some prayers seem to be directed toward God and sometimes it’s like she is praying to herself. And for the most part she asked that the concert goes well and they perform their best although I recall some negative comments that didn’t seem appropriate if one is asking to be blessed.

That is awesome! She sounds like an example of a good and holy Catholic. :slight_smile:


I love Eunha Kim and wish she had won a second consecutive gold medal (although I don’t begrudge the Russian skater who did in fact win gold; congrats to her also). She skated beautifully.

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