Jonathan Edwards takes leap from faith: ‘I just stopped believing in God’
Olympic and world champion athlete on why he gave up on his religious faith
Jonathan Edwards was the first man on the planet to jump more than 60ft.
He was also an Olympic and world champion triple jumper and a deeply devout Christian, who went as far as to bow out of the 1991 World Championships after he refused to compete on a Sunday.
But 16 years after that career-defining statement, he lost his faith.
"I just stopped believing in God and I don’t think it was anything more complicated than that," he told the Daily Mirror.
"I was always very vocal about it when I was competing that I was a Christian. It would be a bit weird to talk about it when I wasn’t," he says. "I don’t go to church any more. Not at all."
His sudden decision also increased the media scrutiny surrounding his marriage to evangelist wife Alison. However, the athlete insisted that the pair have managed to maintain their relationship, despite their now conflicting beliefs.
"Alison is still very involved with church and she actually works for the church," he says. "But neither of our boys go to church. They’ve made their own decisions. It’s all fine."
"I am happy," he said. "And actually it’s fine. I don’t miss my faith. In many ways I feel more settled and happier in myself without it. I don’t know if that is related to losing my faith or would have been the case anyway, but it’s a non-issue as far as I am concerned.
"Seven years on I don’t feel a gap in my life and I suppose that’s the proof of the pudding isn’t it? Had I suddenly thought that life doesn’t quite feel right, maybe I’d re-examine that – re-examine my faith. In fact, more than ever, I feel comfortable with where I am in life."
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
Rowan Atkinson to sell £10 million McLaren 'supercar' he crashed into a tree and a lamppost
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Warriors in ancient Iraq suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 3,000 years ago, say researchers
US blames Russia after rocket attacks in Ukraine kill at least 30
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Apprentices are required to join a privat...
£40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is an exciting opportunity for a HR...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established organisation oper...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our Client has been the leader ...