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Olympian shunned abortion; now has son & bronze medal

BEIJING (BP)–Tasha Danvers chose her unborn child four years ago over her hopes for an Olympic medal. Now she has both.

Running for Great Britain, Danvers won the bronze medal Aug. 20 in the women’s 400 meter hurdles, with a personal best time of 53.84 seconds. Jamaican Melaine Walker won the gold medal with a time of 52.64; American Sheena Tosta claimed the silver at 53.70.

In early 2004, Danvers appeared to be a good prospect for a medal at the Olympics in Athens. She was the sixth-ranked hurdler in the world. Then, she learned she was pregnant.

Danvers reportedly was pressured by some in the track and field world to have an abortion. She admitted later that she and her American husband-coach Darrell Smith briefly considered that choice.

“[T]he thought did cross our minds as an option,” Danvers told the Telegraph, a London newspaper, in May 2004 before citing Mark 8:36. “But this line from the Scriptures kept coming into my head: ‘For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?’

“For me, the whole world was the Olympics. At the same time, I felt I would be losing my soul.”

She gave birth to a son, Jaden, in December 2004 and started on the road back to the Olympics. Her surprising bronze medal in Beijing came after a series of health setbacks, including an injured Achilles tendon and torn hamstring muscle, had produced a disappointing pre-Olympics season.

“Don’t ever give up,” Danvers said after winning the bronze medal, according to The Times of London. “That’s what I want the next generation to understand. Everything doesn’t come up all roses all the time. That is the nature of this athletics game.”
Compiled by the Washington bureau of Baptist Press.

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