Clay Finishes the Race, Keeps the Faith

by Rachel White

Azusa Pacific University salutes our Olympic champion Bryan Clay ’03 for the grace and character he demonstrated at the U.S. Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Ore., June 22-23.

A true champion and role model, Clay pressed on after his dreams of a third Olympic appearance were dashed on the second day of competition when he stumbled in the 100-meter hurdles and was initially disqualified. Clay, overwhelmed by the consequences of one misstep, then fouled on his three attempts at the discus and lost his bid to become the only decathlete in history to medal in three Olympics. He holds a gold from Beijing in ’08 and a silver from Athens in ’04.

Motivated by a deep respect for his sport and the opportunity to provide a valuable life lesson to his children watching in the stands, Clay pressed on. He crossed the finish line of the last event, the 1,500 meters, and hugged his competitor, Ashton Eaton, congratulating him on his victory and world-record.

Although the U.S. decathlon team can take three athletes to the Olympics, only Eaton and Trey Hardee qualified. Clay says he will cheer them on and hopes to hear the U.S. national anthem play during the decathlon medal ceremony. As for the future, Clay embraces the possibilities of a post-Olympic life. With a rock-solid faith, he says he knows God has a plan for him.

APU applauds Bryan Clay for placing God First and showing the world that character counts.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7