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2002 Winter Olympics Salt Lake City

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Speed skater’s faith in focus while setting new U.S. records

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A special ring
Olympic speed skater Jason Hedstrand holds a gold ring given to him by his grandfather as a reminder of godly living.
      SALT LAKE CITY (BP)--For Olympian speed skater Jason Hedstrand, the slim gold band he wears on his right hand means more than his newly ordered Olympic ring.
      The Olympic ring will be a reminder of the skater's grueling training and the excitement of competing in the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.
      But the other ring -- a gold wedding band given to him by his grandfather -- is a constant reminder to Hedstrand of his love for God, the support of his family, and of his commitment to remain pure until marriage.
      "I wear this one with more pride," said 26-year-old Hedstrand, rubbing the mellowed gold. "It is an outward reminder of my inward commitment."

Salt Lake City host churches facilitate volunteers’ witness

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Shower support
Pansy Lott, a member of Salem Baptist Church, Sylvester, Ga., cleans a portable shower after a deluge of Global Outreach volunteers at the 2002 Winter Olympics. Lott traveled with her husband, Jim, to staff showers provided through the North American Mission Board. Photo by Joni B. Hannigan
      SALT LAKE CITY (BP)--Reflecting the snow accenting the 2002 Winter Olympics outside, hundreds of shiny white eggs lined the countertops at Mountain View Baptist Church in Salt Lake City. Concerned less about the hype of the games, but more about feeding volunteers who converged from around the country to sleep at their church in February, Mountain View members flipped, scrambled and boiled eggs nonstop every morning.
      Local church members and others stepped up to house and feed nearly 1,000 volunteers from 21 states, reported Global Outreach 2002 housing and logistics coordinator Todd Swanson, a Mission Service Corps volunteer with a 22-month assignment from the Southern Baptist North American Mission Board to oversee support in Salt Lake City for volunteers ministering during the Olympics.
      Swanson, whose home church is Hebron Baptist Church in Dacula, Ga., is part of Global Outreach 2002, a ministry sponsored by NAMB in partnership with state conventions in Utah-Idaho, Georgia, Kentucky and South Carolina and Woman's Missionary Union.

Arkansans minister at Winter Olympics

      SALT LAKE CITY (BP)--The 2002 Winter Olympic officials did not realize the impact of "Light the Fire Within" as the motto of the Salt Lake City games, but that is exactly what thousands of Baptist volunteers from around the country wanted to do as they saturated the state of Utah with the gospel message.
      Ten women from across Arkansas face-painted, balloon-sculpted, dressed like a moose, served coffee and hot chocolate plus much more as they shared the love of Jesus with the world around them at the games.

Former freedom fighter finds Christ, becomes pastor

SALT LAKE CITY (BP)--Becoming the bodyguard for the president of a freedom fighter group would probably not lead the way to Jesus for most people. But that is how Dan Mamatela, pastor of Millcreek Baptist Church of Salt Lake City, became a Christian. This church opened its doors to the Arkansas Women on Mission Team as they ministered during the Olympics.

Baptist collegians in Utah witness during class break

SALT LAKE CITY (BP)--Opting for an unusual way to spend a break from classes, four University of Utah students traveled to the 2002 Winter Olympics and, instead of attending any competitions, they shared the gospel.

FIRST-PERSON: Hurdle of Olympic proportions: Every little girl wants a daddy

SALT LAKE CITY (BP)--The five intertwined and colorful Olympic rings inlaid beneath the surface of the ice were obliterated at times while ice dancers glided, spun and arched. But that was okay -- it was only momentary and nothing could diminish the glow I felt, the appreciation, the awe -- as couples representing nations from around the world took to the ice to showcase their talent and reach for the gold.

Global Outreach 2002 at Olympics:
1,000 volunteers from 21 states

SALT LAKE CITY (BP)--Undaunted by freezing cold temperatures and snow-laden skies, Wayne Rosado said the weather wasn't as strange to him as his southern accent was to visitors at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Baptist’s memoirs from BYU debuts in time for the Olympics

SALT LAKE CITY (BP)--After visiting the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and being impressed by the scope of Mormon hospitality and the appeal to the senses prompted by bright spires and clean-cut morality, many visitors may wonder, "So why aren't they considered Christians?"

LPGA golfer’s ‘foremost passion’
is the Lord & his unfolding will

SALT LAKE CITY (BP)--Instead of packing golf clubs and tearing up the greens in mid-February, professional golfer Tracy Hanson packed her personal testimony and "Jesus pins" and headed to Salt Lake City for the Winter Olympics.

Brother & sister’s joy blesses 69-year-old witness in Utah

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Mama Jean
"Mama" Jean Prather, right, of Action Ministries International shares the Jesus Pin with a young boy at Park City, Utah. Prather, a member of First Baptist Church, Clinton, Miss., is pictured at one of the ski venues during the 2002 Winter Olympics. Photo courtesy of Action Ministries Int.
      SALT LAKE CITY (BP)--"Mama" Jean Prather had already shared the gospel with countless people Feb. 16 when she encountered a family with a young boy and girl who were in Salt Lake City for the 2002 Winter Olympics.
      Prather, 69, related the story of Noah's ark only to discover the children were already familiar with it.
      She watched their eyes spark as she began to relate the story behind the "Jesus pin" in her hand. As she reached the color green, representing growth, she explained they could grow in Christ through reading the Bible, praying and associating with others who have a shared faith.