Athletes gathering at the 2012 Olympic Games in London will have access to free copies of the Bible after Bible Society agreed to provide them.
Bible Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing the Bible to the world, will make the Bible available as a welcome gift and athletes will be able to obtain their copy simply by visiting the Olympic Village Religious Services Center.
There will be more than 3,000 copies made available, which will be of a commemorative English-language edition. 1,000 additional Bibles will be published in a host of other languages with the help of various national Bible Societies around the world.
"At past Olympics and other major sports events I've seen athletes deeply grateful for the free gift of a Bible. Bible Society is to be highly commended for their support in making such gifts possible." David Willson, CEO of More Than Gold, told the Evangelical Alliance.
The Bibles provided in English will be The Sports Good News Bible edition and also The Sports Good News Gospel of Luke edition, which both contain specifically commissioned articles written to help athletes understand the relationship between sports and faith.
"The Bible offers words of deep consolation, inspiration and challenge, themes which resonate with athletes from around the world. Having the opportunity to offer the scriptures in a format accessible for sports people is a strong statement that the Bible belongs at the heart of every aspect of life," Matthew van Duyvenbode, head of advocacy at Bible Society, explained in a statement.
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The Bibles might prove especially helpful for these Olympics as it was recently revealed some athletes partake in questionable behavior during the course of the games.
U.S. soccer star Hope Solo recently told ESPN Magazine during an interview that she has seen people having sex out in public and even admitted to being drunk while on a television show.
"I've seen people having sex right out in the open," Solo told ESPN. "On the grass, between buildings, people are getting down and dirty … When we were done partying, we got out of our nice dresses, got back into our stadium coats and, at 7 a.m. with no sleep, went on the 'Today' show drunk."
For these games, Bible Society is anticipating high demand for Bibles and officials with Bible Society explained that anyone can get involved and participate in delivering the message of God to others. As part of their Bible: Body & Soul initiative for 2012, they are asking those who are interested to visit Bible Society's website, www.biblesociety.org.uk.
"The achievements we gain on the outside are driven by the people we are on the inside – that's what we discover in the story of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus written by Luke and found within the Christian Scriptures," James Catford, chief executive of Bible Society, said.