We spoke to Jamaican sprinter, Yohan Blake on what it takes to become an Olympic athlete and how he is rooted in his faith with Jesus Christ.
Where are you at the moment, what’s next on the competitive calendar?
At the moment I am in Jamaica, the land I love so much. The next thing on the calendar for me is running the Diamond and also the World Championship in August, so all the preparation for that begins now.
How would you sum up your personal experience at Rio 2016?
I would say that my experience at Rio 2016 was made extra special, because God has been good to me after I was out of action for so long through injury. So to be back on the world’s biggest stage for me was just great.
How did you come to know God for yourself?
Well I would say that it is down to my Mum and Dad. They were always taking me to church every Sunday (Bouge Hill Baptist) so during that time I got to know the Lord and my faith grew even more from Sunday to Sunday. I got baptised at the age of twelve and it was during that time the faith became my own. I was so in the faith and just loving church so much.
You have had an outstanding career on the track so far, but what moment stands out for you?
Yes, my career has been amazing and I am so thankful to have achieved what I have. I would say wining the World Championships was the stand out moment for me and also being the youngest World Champion was a wonderful achievement.
You have a strong friendship with fellow team-mate, Usain Bolt, how much influence has he had on your track career?
My relationship with Usain Bolt is a good one. To be honest, he is always motivating me to take my training easy because he knows how much I love to work hard but he does also push me every single day to do better.
What’s the best thing about being one of the fastest men on the planet?
I think of the best things about being one of the fastest people in the world is that a lot of people look up to you. It also allows me to motivate a lot of young people who want to become sprinters and I am thankful I can do that, helping them to do better.
How do you use the sporting platform God has given you to point people to Him?
I guess the way I use my platform for God’s glory is by dedicating every win to His name. When I win I make sure to say it’s not me who won that race but God. I also like to pray before I race and wear t-shirts that I make to share blessings with other people.
What do you like to do in your spare time away from the track?
I enjoy lots of things off the track, my favourite things to do are: play cricket, video games, dominoes, football and I like to go hunting with friends.
How does God feature in your pre-race time, are there any routines you go through?
God is always in everything I do so I make sure I have my worship before I race and say my confession. My pastor at my church gave me some olive oil and I put that on to bless me.
Who do you look up to in the world of athletics, any role models?
I think the one person who I look up to has to be Usain Bolt. He is a man who I have been working with for a long time now and he has taught me so much throughout my career.
What has God been teaching you recently?
God has been teaching me to not boast about what you do in your life, but boast about the word of God. He has also been teaching me that whatever He gives to us, we should not be dissatisfied with it because he knows what is best for us. We should appreciate the smallest moments because when God blesses you, it will be big!
Do you have a favourite Bible verse, if so, why that one?
Yes, my favourite Bible verse is Psalm 1 where is talks about ‘blessed is the man’, I hold onto this particular piece of scripture because it shows how, with God, all things are possible!