Sydney McLaughlin sets 400M world record; uses moment to tout ‘submission and obedience to God’

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Another U.S. Olympic competitor has gone viral for saying and doing all the right things.

After hurdler and sprinter Sydney McLaughlin both won a gold medal and set a new world record in the women’s 400-meter hurdles this week, she took to Instagram to share an unapologetic message about her victories.

“Let me start off by saying, what and [SIC] honor it is to be able to represent not only my country, but also the kingdom of God. What I have in Christ is far greater than what I have or don’t have in life. I pray my journey may be a clear depiction of submission and obedience to God,” she wrote.

She is, as you can tell, a devout Christian — one who, in fact, attended a private Catholic high school growing up.

“Even when it doesn’t make sense, even when it doesn’t seem possible. He will make a way out of no way. Not for my own gratification, but for His glory. I have never seen God fail in my life. In anyone’s life for that matter,” her post continued.

“Just because I may not win every race, or receive every one of my heart’s desires, does not mean God had failed. His will is PERFECT. And He has prepared me for a moment such as this. That I may use the gifts He has given me to point all the attention back to Him. 🇺🇸❤️,” it concluded.


McLaughlin graduated from the Union Catholic Regional High School in Scotch Plains, New Jersey just four short years ago in 2017.

According to The Catholic Telegraph, her former teachers and schoolmates were ecstatic over her victories.

Jim Lambert, the school’s information director, told the outlet that “a great mix of students, alums, faculty, staff, parents of parents and members of the community” all gathered at a local tavern Tuesday for a watch party.

“I’ve known Sydney and her family for 10 years and have covered her track and field career since she was 13, so to watch her reach the pinnacle of her sport by winning the Olympic gold in electrifying, heart-pounding, and world record fashion was extremely exciting and gratifying,” he said.

McLaughlin’s former humanities teacher, Tim Breza, concurred, describing the experience as “surreal.”

“I can remember doing something very similar for her in our gym when she was in Rio and even though she did not reach the final, I think everyone knew this was only the beginning. Fast forward to 2021, a much different world, but the same talented Syd fulfilled that Golden dream!” he said.

At only 16 years of age, McLaughlin made it into the 2016 Olympics but failed at the time to win a gold medal.

Also in attendance at the watch party was Percylee Hart, R.S.M. The abbreviation is short for Religious Sisters of Mercy. In other words, Hart is a nun.

Speaking with America magazine, a publication of the Jesuits of the United States, Hart stressed that McLaughlin isn’t just a world-class athlete — she’s a world-class believer.

“Sister Percylee said McLaughlin’s family formed the Olympian in the Christian faith and then chose to send her to Union Catholic because the family’s core values were the same as the school’s: compassion, community, honesty, respect and responsibility,” according to the magazine.

“She was manifesting who she was becoming as a person within the context of her faith. Through it all, the thing that stands out the most for me is her humility,” she said in her own words.

McLaughlin’s not too dissimilar from fellow Olympic star Tamyra Mensah-Stock, who, after becoming the first black woman in history to win gold representing the United States in wrestling this week, also went viral for her own stellar values.

Right after her victory, she proudly draped an American flag around her body and then expressed to the world how unequivocally she loves both this country and God.

“It’s by the grace of God I’m even able to move my feet. I just leave it in his hands, and I pray that all the practice … my coaches put me through pays off and, every single time, it does,” she said.

“I love representing the U.S.! I freaking love living there! I love it! And I’m so happy that I get to represent U.S.A.!” she then hollered with pride.

The public immediately fell in love with her just as it’s now falling in love with McLaughlin.

The two provide a stark contrast to anti-American, perpetually aggrieved Olympic stars like Megan Rapinoe and Gwen Berry, both of whom failed to earn gold.


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