Christian Olympian Credits God For Her Comeback Bronze Win After Bout With PTSD

A revelation from the Lord led this Rio gold medalist to return to wrestling and win another medal at the Tokyo Olympics after being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in 2018.

Outspoken Christian and Olympic wrestler Helen Maroulis beat Khongorzul Boldsaikhan of Mongolia and claimed the bronze for the United States on Thursday.

And Jesus said to him “anything is possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23) ⁣

Never lose faith, never give up. ⁣

2x Olympic medalist!!! Pinching myself!! What a gift to be able to do this on the biggest stage again. My heart is full (heart emoji) thank you everyone!! pic.twitter.com/KoeWgGVods

— Helen Maroulis OLY (@helen_maroulis) August 6, 2021

In a statement to Sports Spectrum, the athlete disclosed that it was God who helped her get back to the sport following a brief hiatus due to brain injuries.

“I just kind of felt like He revealed to me that if wrestling is where your pain and trauma happened and you run away from it for the rest of your life, you’re not ever going to heal from it,” she said.

“I thank God so much just for making me healthy,” she told USA Today.

Helen Louise Maroulis of #USA takes #bronze in the women’s freestyle 57kg #wrestling#StrongerTogether | #Tokyo2020 | @wrestling pic.twitter.com/rOPuDUij17

— Olympics (@Olympics) August 5, 2021

She also uncovered to the media outlet that the reason why she pursued to fight in the 2020 Olympics, despite a lot of setbacks along the way, is because of the promise that God gave her the day after she won in Rio.

“If I didn’t have that, I would have quit so many times throughout this whole quad. I really held onto that. I know I made a commitment,” she stated.

Maroulis had a concussion during a match with Pooja Dhanda of India in January 2018. She suffered another brain injury during a practice just after a few months of recovery that year. Later on, sport psychologists diagnosed her with PTSD. She then underwent treatment.

But after competing at the world championship in Budapest in October 2018 and injured her shoulder, the athlete decided to continue her treatment and moved back with her parents in Maryland to complete the healing process.

She resumed competing in February last year and won all her matches at the Pan American Olympics Qualifier in March 2020.

In 2010, Maroulis came to know the Lord when a coach invited her to church, where she was moved with the preaching.

She shared about her journey as a Christian athlete in an interview with the Baptist Press in 2016.

Maroulis disclosed that she was disappointed with losing at the 2012 Olympic Trials, since she had been planning to use the platform to share about her faith and God’s goodness. But after reading the Bible, she realized that wrestling had become her highest priority which turned into a god.

“I think I used God as a good luck charm or a rabbit’s foot. It was like I couldn’t let go of my grasp on wrestling…” she said.

Her faith had grown since then and finally grasped the purpose of the sport in her life.

“I think God taught me that wrestling is a tool that He’s using to shape my character. It’s not something that I need. I love what I do, but with every little step of the way, God’s showing me something, teaching me, challenging me in some way,” Maroulis declared.