St Therese, the little Flower, a BIG help to American Olympian figure skaters!
Gold - Nagano- 1998
Bronze - Salt Lake City - 2002
Tara Lipinski, who skated to gold in Nagano in the 1998 Olympics, believes St. Therese has guided her life since 1994, when she first prayed to the saint known as the Little Flower.
"I know that, without her, I could never have done anything at the Olympics. Not that she made me win, but she gave me the faith to believe that there was someone who would keep me calm and help me through, no matter what happened," Lipinski said.
Tara takes a statue of St Therese to all her competitions. She also attends Mass regularly, regardless of what city she's in. Lipinski, who retired from eligibility after the 1998 Olympics in response to the directions of her physician (she had multiple injuries) enjoys an active career, skating in "Stars On Ice" and specials.
At Salt Lake City in 2002, another American young man skated to the podium. In a field which was one of the deepest in history, where it was necessary to do quad jumps to be a player, Timothy Goebel, 21 years old, got the bronze medal and represented the USA on the podium.
Timothy who hailed from Rolling Meadows, IL, also prayed to St Therese to help him during competitions. He said he learned it from Tara Lipinski!
Timothy is a regular attendant at Daily Mass, as well as Sunday Mass, sometimes going to great effort to find a church when he is traveling. He usually receives the Sacrament of Reconciliation once a week.
At 15, Lipinski shattered a 70-year record to become the youngest Olympic skating champion. Her rise from Midwest Novice Champion in 1994 to Olympic gold in 1998 was equivalent to becoming MVP of the Super Bowl four years after winning a regional championship in Pop Warner football.
At 21, Goebel was the first American to medal in an Olympics for many years wherein the Russians have dominated. Combining athleticism and artistry, Goebel was famous for his quad jumps which he executed with the same ease as some skaters do double jumps.
St. Therese's greatest desire was to lead others to faith in God. Tara Lipinski believes that is what the saint has done for her. Likely Timothy Goebel feels the same.
Must be something about St Therese - she's powerful, even for figure skaters.
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