By Jessica Easthope
She’s heard the roar of packed stadiums and most recently she’s felt the tremor of the crowd in Tokyo but for Sydney McLaughlin – nothing beats getting cheers from her fellow Vikings at Union Catholic High School.
Union Catholic welcomed the Olympian and 2017 graduate back, Monday, Oct. 25, with a humble homecoming. The gold medalist zooms down the track and over hurdles – but she was slow to move through the crowd of students and her former teachers and coaches.
“It’s not just me out there, it really hundreds of thousands of people behind me supporting me and I’m really grateful for everyone in this community,” Sydney said.
Mclaughlin is the current world record holder in the women’s 400 Meter Hurdles and was the first woman to break 52 seconds in the event – but she says her athletic accomplishments are nothing without God.
“Everything I’ve been given is a gift from God and it’s not my own,” she said. “Track and medals are just a byproduct of being obedient to Him.”
“She’s a wonderful role model enabling our students to grow their gifts and talents and they can be whatever God calls them to be, they can do it,” said Sister Percylee Hart, principal of the school.
During her talk to students instead of telling them to give it all on the track, she told them to give it all to their relationship with Christ and students left inspired.
“Track isn’t everything. She talks about her faith and how close she is with God and I feel like that’s an important part to being a great runner,” said Union Catholic senior Myles Plummer.
She’s an athlete who’s had all the glory on the world stage – but Sydney McLaughlin continues to give all glory to God.