Athletes from around the globe are getting ready for the experience of a lifetime over the coming weeks—competing in the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Among them are many Latter-day Saints and as athlete ambassadors for their respective countries, these competitors have a special opportunity to share their faith and convictions online. Here are just a few examples of these incredible athletes sharing their beliefs with the world. Note: Captions and quotes have been edited for clarity
Jarod Arroyo: Swimming, Puerto Rico
In 2018, Olympic swimmer Jarod Arroyo baptized his little sister, Jill, and shared a beautiful photo of the two of them on his Instagram.
Bruna Benites: Soccer, Brazil
Brazil's women's soccer team captain from the London 2012 Olympic Games Bruna Benites joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2000 at age 15. Benites spoke at RootsTech earlier this year about how she relies on the Lord for strength on and off the field.
Jake Gibb, Beach volleyball, USA
Latter-day Saint Jake Gibb is the oldest volleyball player—beach or indoor—in Olympic history. Gibb is the ultimate family man and, as a two-time cancer survivor as well, he often shares his gratitude for his family and their continued support and love.
Caption: Making my parents proud is a special thing. Even at 45 it still matters. Growing up, the Olympics were always something special at our house. TV would be on all day during the games. As my Dad would always remind me,“You’re athletic Jacob BECAUSE you’re my son.” My Dad was KING of the humble brag🤣💪🇺🇸
Alexis Lagan, Pistol shooting, USA
Alexis “Lexi” Lagan, who will compete for Team USA in pistol shooting in Tokyo, has recently shared photos of temples, wedding photos in front of the St. George Temple, and an invitation to watch General Conference on her personal Instagram account.
Caption: He is my forever. Happy Valentine's Day, my wonderful! #valentinesday2019 #templemarriage #foreverandalways #familiescanbetogetherforever #stgeorgetemple
Nini Manumua: Weight lifting, Tonga
Nini Manumua has already made history by becoming the first female weight lifter to represent Tonga in the Olympics. She and her younger sister Salome were recently featured by a local Bay Area news station as supportive sisters and training partners as Nini recovered from a knee injury last year.
Josué Dominguez Ramos: Swimming, Dominican Republic
Breaststroke swimmer Josué Dominguez will be representing the Dominican Republic in Tokyo. He actually qualified for the Olympic Games in Rio, but did not compete and instead, chose to serve a full-time mission in Puebla Mexico. The week after he qualified for Rio, he sent in his mission papers.
About his experience, Dominguez told The Daily Universe, “For me, it wasn’t hard. I made a decision that I was going to serve a mission no matter what. The question was just when I was going.”
Sarah Robles: Weight lifting, USA
As the most experienced member of Team USA’s weight lifting squad, Latter-day Saint Sarah Robles is competing in her third Olympic Games this year.
On her blog, Robles states, “As an Olympic athlete I want to draw some attention to the companies that respect the long, hard journey we chose. I made a personal choice a few years ago that my priority was going to be 100% God, and weight lifting . . . My brand and my image [are] very important to me. I'm a Christian woman, I'm a wife, one day I hope to be a mother. I want my kids and my husband to be comfortable with the image of these companies. I don't want to have to be a sexual figure to make money or get publicity. Nothing against those that do, it's just not the path I want. Are these companies trying to make the world a better place? That's the bus I want to be on. That's the person I want to stand beside and help support.”
MyKayla Skinner: Gymnastics, U.S.A.
A 24-year-old from Arizona, gymnast MyKayla Skinner was selected to compete in Team USA’s final individual spot. She and her husband Jonas were sealed in the Gilbert Arizona Temple in 2019 and she frequently posts photos of them outside the temple on their wedding day. One of her trainers, who is also a member of the Church, told LDS Living, “She definitely has a completely different situation than any other gymnast [and] it provides her [with] a lot of stability. And of course that comes from the covenants in the temple that she’s made with her husband, and a lot of different things that come from being a member of the Church.”
MyKayla also told LDS Living, “I’ve kind of always wanted to go on a mission, but obviously with the whole gymnastics thing it never really played out for me. But in my patriarchal blessing, it talks about how this is my mission to the youth. My whole patriarchal blessing talks about gymnastics, which is really, really cool.”
For bios on each of these athletes and information about their Olympic competition dates and times, see Church News.