Morrison Wins Gold

From a slave to a saint Freestyle wrestler, Genevieve Morrison overcomes more than her opponents to grab gold at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto

In May 2011, Genevieve Morrison approached the podium and leaned toward the microphone. It was a pivotal point not only in her athletic career but also her faith journey. “I would like to make a retirement announcement,” she declared. “I’m officially retiring the athlete slave in me.” In the months leading up to this announcement, Genevieve had been wrestling with more than just her competitors. She had grappled with questions like, ‘Can sport and faith go together?’ ‘Can I compete in sport with freedom?’ ‘Is there any other way to compete besides being a slave to this sport?’ She had even tried quitting wrestling many times before, but always felt that God wouldn’t let her. Morrison was craving a deeper intimacy with God and she thought she was going to have to give up sport to achieve that. At what she thought was her last competitive tournament, she met Athletes in Action. She went on to attend National Training Camp where she learned that sport can not only be a platform to reach others, but also that God can use it to mold her into the person she was created to be. Fast forward four years, two FISU World University Championship gold medals, a record setting five CIS university titles, and three Nordhagen Classic gold medals, to the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto. On Thursday, July 16th, Morrison clinched the gold – Canada’s first in wrestling – in the 48kg freestyle final versus Peru. It was a victory not only in sport, but also in faith. Leading up to the Pan Am Games, Morrison focused on releasing control and trusting God. Whether she medaled or not, she was going to commit to the process and allow God to shape her character through it. With lots of family joining her in Toronto, she felt pressure not only to win, but also to allow her family to experience the joy of her sport. She prayed that her grip would be loose on the performance. What gave her peace before stepping onto the mat, and uplifted her throughout the match, was this verse in Isaiah 41: “I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Athletes in Action is committed to helping athletes like Genevieve Morrison learn to compete for a victory beyond competition. She has retired the athlete slave in her and now competes as an athlete saint. What do you compete for? #goaia #runNTC #victorybeyondcompetition