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."
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 3 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 4 African jawbone discovery pushes birth of humanity back by 400,000 years
- 5 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Out-of-touch MPs ‘don’t get it’, says ex-Civil Service chief
George Clooney and Amal fail to get special treatment at New York restaurant
'A girl is more responsible for rape than a boy': The statement that shocked the world... except India
African jawbone discovery pushes birth of humanity back by 400,000 years
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Have you been doing a brilliant job in an admi...
£26,498 - £31,556: Surrey County Council: We are looking for an outgoing, conf...
£50000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you an innovative, senior H...
£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client, a very well respect...