At 33 years old, Eloise Wellings is about to compete in her second Olympics in Rio as a middle-distance runner. But she has had a long road to the Games, including three thwarted attempts to represent Australia at the Olympic Games.

Wellings was just 16 years old when she first qualified for the Sydney Olympics, but her Olympic dream was cut short when she suffered a stress fracture to her hip just three weeks after qualifying.

“I was devastated,” says Wellings. “My whole world fell apart. Running was who I was, without it I was a nobody.”

“I received Christ after a couple of weeks and have never looked back.”

Back at school, a new girl introduced herself to Wellings, saying that she’d heard about the injury, and mentioning that she, along with some of her friends at church, had been praying for Wellings.

“I ended up going to church with my new friend Lisa,” says Wellings. “And hearing about Jesus, hearing the gospel and hearing about his unconditional love and grace for me.

“I received Christ after a couple of weeks and have never looked back.”

But becoming a Christian did not make her Olympic dreams a reality. Wellings missed out on both the Athens and Beijing Olympics, also due to injury.

“Life didn’t become suddenly super rosy, it didn’t all of a sudden become super easy after becoming a Christian,” says Wellings. “But I had a rock that no matter what happened I wasn’t shaken because I had Jesus.

“I had that truth as my foundation that no matter what happened in my running career or with what I did, I knew who I was in God, I knew who made me, and I knew that God had a good plan. I’ve always believed that.”

As she heads to Rio to run the 10,000m and 5000m, Wellings says that she thinks she can use her experiences to support other athletes.

“I feel entrusted to encourage them around these things, and I want to be bold to share with them [my] faith. My heart is that people would come to know the Lord like I do, and that they would come to love him.

“Please pray for opportunities to speak grace into people’s lives, and pray for me to have boldness,” says Wellings.

Praying Hands Icon

Pray

Some prayer points to help

Pray  for opportunities for Eloise to speak grace into people’s lives, and pray for her to have boldness to take those opportunities.

More