As the London 2012 Olympic Games drew to a close, More Than Gold, an organization seeking to enable local churches to engage with big sporting events in host cities around the world, hosted the inaugural Legacy Award breakfast in honour of Eric Liddell - writes Solomon Izang Ashoms.
British Paralympian Stef Reid was among the many to take part. The Paralymics starts in London shortly.
The Eric Liddell Award honours one male and one female Olympian who display outstanding character at home, in their community and on the field of competition.
The award is given in memory of Eric Liddell, winner of the gold and bronze medals for Britain at the 1924 Paris Olympics. Liddell is best known for the portrayal of his Olympic experience in the Oscar-winning film 'Chariots of Fire'.
The male recipient of the award was the 2008 Olympic decathlon gold medalist from the USA, Bryan Clay.
The female athlete honoured at this inaugural event was British rower and double Olympic silver medalist, Debbie Flood.
Beyond his athletic successes, Liddell is known for his consistent character and strong Christian faith. Following the 1924 Olympics, he chose to return to his birthplace in China as a missionary, rather than train for further competition.
By 1941, life in China had become so dangerous that Liddell sent his wife and daughters back to Scotland. Two years later, he was interned in a Japanese POW camp, where he died in 1945, just four months before the end of World War II.
His eldest daughter, 77-year-old Patricia Liddell Russell said, “He was a wonderful dad and it’s great the award is given to these athletes because there’s more to winning gold than winning gold.”
With thanks to More than Gold and Assist News.