Eric Liddell - A Life Inspired
With the conclusion of the London 2012 Olympics we know that more people than ever have come to know about the remarkable man that was Eric Liddell. This section of our web site has been designed to help you find out more about his inspirational life and work, which still continues to inspire people to this day.
We hope that as you read through the range of information and stories about Eric that you will really enjoy the experience. As you explore Eric's life you will find a man who was and continues to be a superb example of someone who lived out the Olympic ideals while upholding the Olympic motto, "Citius, Altius, Fortius" which means, "Swifter, Higher, Stronger", throughout his life.
On its website the International Olympic Committee, writing about the Olympic Movement states,
"It is a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind."
It goes on to say,
"The goal of the Olympic Movement is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practised without discrimination of any kind, in a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play."
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.
You will read all about him:
- 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 - sometimes up to six years!
- 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.
We hope that you enjoy reading about Eric and that you will find his life inspiring.
As we all look towards the Rio Olympics in 2016 it is our hope and prayer that young people throughout the world will find inspiration, friendship and peace, running hand in hand.