Paratriathlon athlete Grace Norman is “not shy about praying.” She says, “I’m not ashamed about being a Christian and wearing Christ on my chest.” By staying humble and having good sportsmanship, she shares Christ with others by representing Him before, during, and after races.
Growing up in an active family with parents for coaches, Grace found athletic success early. She enjoyed sports but her passion grew when she received her first running prosthetic freshman year of high school. Shortly after, she began training for the triathlon and within two years, won gold in the triathlon at the 2016 Paralympic Games. Outside of the gold, her achievements include a silver medal at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic games. She also is a seven-time medalist at the World Paratriathlon Championships, a two-time USA Paratriathlon national champion, and a 10-time World Paratriathlon Event medalist. Grace also holds the world record in the 800 and 1500 T44 classification for track and field.
During the conversation, Grace discussed the impact God has made in her life. Despite growing up in a Christian family and attending religious private schools, Grace didn’t dive into her faith until junior year of college at Cedarville University. She noted that, “without Him I didn’t go anywhere good, I just stayed stationary.” She saw the need for growth and wanted God’s help to “push me to be a better version of myself.”
Through learning God, Belvit also came to learn what his Grace meant and the impact it has on her life. “If I could sum it up in one sentence it would be: an opportunity mixed with the unmerited favor and love.” Belvit goes on to explain that God’s Grace is not repayable and simply not deserved, but God still graces us with opportunities that we may feel unfit for, but he sees something else in us, something stronger, to allow us to do his will, even if that means navigating a global pandemic.
Her faith was tested when she was contact traced two days before racing at the 2020 Paralympics. When she was moved into a separate building and separated from all other athletes, Grace remembers repeating the words, “My grace is sufficient for you” to herself. These comforting words helped her stay positive during isolation and smile as she eventually crossed the finish line. She was thankful that God was the “control in the chaos.”
Looking back on her journey with faith and athletics, Grace recognizes the importance of consistently talking to God. She ended with a reminder to listeners saying, “God gives you each day as a gift. Don’t take that for granted but give it back to him and ask him for strength to get through that day.”
Heaven to the Yeah (HTTY) is an online retail start-up with a mission to encourage people to live with heaven in view and spread the hope of heaven globally. HTTY sponsors children and missionaries on four continents through universally recognized non-profit organizations such as Compassion International and Food for the Hungry.