At four days old, I was adopted into a family, with which I went to church every Sunday. I really came to my own faith at age 16 at a Bible camp when I began asking questions. I knew then I was ready to be part of God’s family. Since then, I have been walking by faith.
I began studying taekwondo after my older brother Evan, who is Korean, started taking classes; I wanted to do everything he did. My younger sister started classes later, so it became a family thing. We mostly participated in an after-school club and competed at state tournaments. One year I tried sparring and my coach recognized a talent there. I started training more, and sparred at the nationals, earning a medal. I made the U.S. junior team, then the senior team and the national team.
I knew I had a God-given talent, and I have always wanted to glorify Him in any way I can through my sport. I wanted to be the one saying, “God gave me the talent. Let me see how far I can go and how I can increase it for Him.” I took my problems to God and knew He was in control. If I didn’t win, I knew it was His will, and I had that inner peace in me when I fought in tournaments.
My faith plays a big role in my sport. Being able to trust my Lord and have faith that whatever happens is His will, gives me the inner peace that makes me ready for anything.
A lot of athletes think the best approach is to be cocky and think you’re better than the other person. Whenever I tried to be overconfident, I didn’t win. But I know that the opponent is just as human as I am. I believe whoever the Lord wills wins, and it’s really anyone’s win on any given day.
Every year while I was growing up, my family would watch the Olympics together. I have always been a fan and wanted to be one of those athletes who has those special moments. One of my biggest goals was to make the 2012 Olympic team. Now I want to win it and glorify my Lord in the process. I am trusting God, and I will give it my all for Him. He wants me to glorify Him whether I win a medal or win nothing, so I pray I will do that, no matter what the outcome may be.
—Paige McPherson, US taekwondo player