Olympic Sprinter English Gardner: ‘Only Right for Me to Use’ Platform to Praise God

By Melanie Arter | August 4, 2016 | 1:09pm EDT
From left, English Gardner, Tianna Bartoletta and Tori Bowie finish 1-2-3 in the 100-meter final at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials on Sunday. Clovis’ Jenna Prandini finished fifth. (AP Photo)

Olympic sprinter English Gardner told CBN’s “700 Club” last month that she wasn’t ashamed of calling on Jesus after she broke the world’s record and became the 7th fastest sprinter in the world after winning the 100-meter dash at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Oregon in July.

After finishing first in the race, Gardner dropped to her knees, saying, “Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus. Oh, God I praise you. I give you so much glory.”


In a July 7 interview, Gardner told the “700 Club” that while at home training for the race, she told God that if he never did another thing for her, she was okay with it, and if she didn’t make the Olympic team, she would also be okay, because God had already done so much for her.

She said she knew going into the race that if her dreams and “epiphanies” came true, she wouldn’t be ashamed to give God the glory and call on his name, “because no one really knows the cost of my oil to get me to where I was.”

“And so that position that I was in, that platform that I was on was only right for me to use it for him, because he has done so much for me, and not only for my entire life, but throughout these past six months,” Gardner said.

“He has groomed me and grown me into an athlete and brought me through my process and showed me the way, and I never needed anyone to walk me through it. It literally was just me and God going through it, and that’s something that I’d never experienced my entire life,” she said.

At 24 years old and the daughter of a pastor, Gardner said she’d always heard stories “about how God can lead you” and change things and how “prayer is real and the power is in your tongue,” but she’d never experienced them personally until the six months leading up to her qualifying for the Olympics.

“And so it definitely was an overwhelming moment to be able to see God’s miracle right in front of your eyes and him actually use you and you be the vessel that he chose, and I’m definitely not perfect, but he found it fit that I was deserving of it, and I’m just very humble in that,” Gardner added.


When Gardner had knee surgery in 2008 for a torn ACL, MCl, and lateral meniscus, every college withdrew their scholarship offers except for the University of Oregon. Then in 2012, Gardner placed seventh in the 100-meter dash finals on the same track, ending her Olympic dreams at the time, the 700 Club reported.

Despite that, Gardner said she always knew she’d eventually make the Olympic team.

“Absolutely, this thing that I’ve been doing – track and field and making it to the Olympics and stuff – this was also prophesied to me when I was a little girl, and so, I’ve always been a firm believer that if he said it, he will do it, and not once did I believe that it wasn’t going to happen,” she said.

“It definitely was something that I felt it wasn’t going to happen on my time and that it was all his time, because the blessing that I deserved needed to be perfectly tailor-made for me. And in 2012, it just wasn’t perfectly tailor-made for me, and I accepted that at that moment, but it also gave me more fuel, more fire to be able to come in 2016 with just a different edge, you know, a different chip on my shoulder,” she said.

English said it never entered her mind that she would never be “in this position.”

“I’ve always believed and had faith and like truly had faith in it,” she said. “There was no doubt in my mind that God was going to be able to do what he needed to do.”

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