As a wrestler, I dreamed about participating in the Olympic Games and winning a medal in this prestigious tournament. In 1996, I made my dream come true by representing Poland during the Olympics that took place in Atlanta. However, I didn’t achieve any success and I didn’t win an Olympic medal.
During the Olympic Games in Sydney, I also did not achieve what I wanted and I came back without a medal. One year before the Olympic Games in Athens, in 2003, I won a gold medal.
The Olympic Games in Athens were supposed to belong to me. I was announced as one of the main candidates to win a gold medal. I wanted to win it and right after that finish my sports career. But this time, once again my dream didn’t come true. I lost my first fight against a Russian wrestler and was eliminated from the whole tournament. My dreams were shattered and I had to live with it.
After the lost match, I came back to the Olympic Village. While there I met Zbyszek Masewicz, a director of Athletes in Action. I found out that he is a spiritual mentor and a chaplain of the Polish National Team. As we talked on different subjects at some point he asked me the question, “Do you know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior?”
[I turned my life over to Jesus and] God saved me through the death of His Son, Jesus Christ.
I began to read God’s Word, and through prayer I began to surrender different things of my life to Him. After a certain time, God began to work, liberating me from many bad habits and addictions. God is still shaping me and I constantly need His guidance. The Holy Spirit gives me strength and courage not to be ashamed of my Master, Jesus Christ. It is a privilege and a great joy to be His disciple and share the Gospel with others. In the 19th verse of the 28th chapter in the book of Matthew in the Bible, Jesus tells us to go and make disciples of all nations.
I pray to God to show me His will, to make me faithful and listen to Him. I believe that God had a reason that He allowed me to win the European title, a World Championship and three times participate in the Olympic Games.
During the Olympic Games in Athens I did not win a gold medal, but I came back from there with something more precious than gold.
— Dariusz Jablonski, Polish wrestler