Saturday, 24 March 2012

Eric Liddell: More than Gold

I'm currently reading up on Eric Liddell, the 1924 Olympic 400 metres gold medal winner, and inspiration behind the film Chariots of Fire, in preparation for our More than Gold mission focus services tomorrow.

Liddell was born in China, served as a missionary there and died in a Japanese internment camp in 1945. His  biography, a moving story of heroism and sporting excellence, has been published in Mandarin with the approval of the Chinese authorities.

According to the BBC, in July, a digitally remastered version of Chariots of Fire will be shown in cinemas ahead of the Olympics.
Although the film is 31 years old, producer Lord Puttnam believes the message is still relevant.
"Chariots of Fire is about guts, determination and belief. At the heart of the film is the quest for Olympic glory, and I find it hard to imagine anything more likely to resonate throughout the country this summer,"
At the 1924 Paris Olympics, when the motto “Citius, Altius, Fortius” was first used, Eric Liddell won a bronze medal in the 200m and then even greater glory by winning gold in the 400m. Eric went on, however, to embody the Olympic ideals by the way that he lived his life.

  • Shaking hands with other competitors prior to races.
  • Coming alongside competitors who were being shunned because they were different.
  • Teaching children in school.
  • Acting as a coach or a referee.
  • Working with very poor people.
  • Rescuing victims of war.
At the core of his life Eric believed that God was his saviour, friend and companion and that everything he did should give God pleasure. As a runner he was the fastest and had achieved the highest glory, and as a Christian he found that his greatest strength came from God. It was because of this strength that he was able:
  • to be parted from his family for long periods of time.
  • to smuggle money to Chinese people who were living in parts of China occupied by the Japanese army.
  • to teach people about “loving your enemy” while they were all imprisoned in a Japanese internment camp.
Find out more about this remarkable man at the Eric Liddell Centre.
  1. A short biography of Eric Liddell
  2. Photographs of Eric Liddell
  3. Eric Liddell Quotations
  4. Eric Liddell's Edinburgh
  5. Video of Eric Liddell Winning Gold at the 1924 Olympics
  6. Recollections of Eric Liddell by People who knew him
  7. Press cuttings about Eric Liddell
  8. Athletics memorabilia belonging to Eric Liddell
  9. Chinese artefacts belonging to Eric Liddell
  10. Other Videos about Eric Liddell
  11. Eric Liddell's Rugby Career
  12. A list of books about Eric Liddell
  13. A list of films and videos about Eric Liddell
  14. Some personal correspondence of Eric Liddell