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Eric Liddell: Champion of Conviction tells the incredible story of the Olympic athlete who took gold in running in the 1924 Olympics. His story has been made famous by a number of different sources, most especially the Academy-Award winning movie, “Chariots of Fire”. In this film, we hear the story of Eric Liddell as told by Author David McCasland, who wrote the book Eric Lidell: Pure Gold. The film also had a number of consultants who helped bring an added sense of realism to the film, including Liddell’s own daughter Patricia, and Rev. John Keddie, a consultant on “Chariots of Fire” and a fellow prisoner in the Chinese internment camp.
From a young age, it was clear that Eric Liddell was going to be a gifted athlete. With excellence in rugby and then track from a young age, he chose to enter the 1924 Olympics in Paris. He was the heavy favorite to win the 100-meter race in the Olympics, but when he learned he would have to compete on a Sunday, he adamantly refused, deciding he would go to church rather than participate in the athletic competition. So, to much disappointment and even anger from fans, he resigned from the race, choosing to participate in other races around the country. Competing in other races, he was still able to bring home gold for his home country of Scotland. Liddell had a very impressive athletic achievement under his belt, with seemingly a great future ahead of him. People knew that he could easily come back at the next Olympics, and if he kept to a strict regimen he would most likely be able to win again.
So when he announced his plans for his future, people were shocked. Not that he had become a national sensation, people waited with baited breath to see what he would do next with his life. And his choice was to go be a missionary in China. Because he had a knowledge of Chemistry from previous education, he was able to go to China and teach Chemistry there. In addition to this, he oversaw the sports programs at the school, sharing his faith whenever he was able to, in the classroom or at sporting events. After a time, he got married and left teaching to become an evangelist fulltime. By the year 1941 rolled around, China was growing increasingly unstable and it began to become a less and less safe place for him to be. With Japan’s control increasing over China, he began to worry that his bold profession of faith was going to become an issue. However, he was unable to retract his faith or stand down. He chose instead to continue boldly proclaiming his faith no matter the consequences.
Eric Liddell did worry about the safety of his family, however, and sent them off to live in Canada where they would remain safe. When Japan took over, they began moving people into internment camps, Liddell included. Rather than being discouraged and dejected by his present situation, he chose to make the best of his situation and use this new opportunity to evangelize and minister to whoever he could. Here he became a friend and a mentor to 300 children, most of whom had been separated from their parents who were also missionaries. His story was so impacting that it inspired everyone in the camps. They saw him as he rose early each morning and spent time reading and praying before beginning his day. His commitment to his faith was an incredible inspiration to others, and he was even able to bring some of them to a relationship with Christ as well. Because of his devout and unwavering faith, he was respected and admired by everyone In the camp. By the year 1944, however, he started to show signs of a possible brain tumor. The next year he died, still believing in God and still committed to his faith.
Liddell’s story is a powerful and encouraging reminder of a man who gave all to live out his faith. Liddell was a man who had it all. He could have pursued his athletic career and even gone back to perform in another Olympics. But he realized that his call was something greater than athleticism. He chose to give up his athletic career and become a missionary to the people of China. He may not have always understood exactly what he was doing or what his plan was, but God took care of him and always watched over him. Because of his story, he was able to convert hundreds of people and his story has likewise inspired thousands more to form a deeper relationship with Christ for themselves.
Eric Liddell: Champion of Conviction is a powerful documentary revealing his life and incredible story. While the Chariots of Fire movie presented a drama about his life, this is a documentary style with interviews of people who knew about Liddell’s life and experience. You will learn more about his incredible life and will likewise be inspired to make a stand for your own faith. Even when things got tough in Liddell’s life, he didn’t back down or leave the country. He knew he was right where he was supposed to be and he never backed down from what he believed in. Liddell’s story is an inspiring and encouraging reminder for all of us that we can do what he did – we can leave our own plans and follow what God calls us to do. It’s not always the easy plan, but it is God’s call for us.
Liddell lived a remarkable life, from start to finish. Like in the words of Paul, he fought the good fight and ran the race. He was able to channel the endurance and motivation that he had while racing into something that made an eternal difference on an entire country. Eric Liddell: Champion of Conviction is a wonderful documentary documenting the life of Liddell and all of his incredible works and experiences throughout his life.
Eric Liddell: Champion Of Conviction Learn about the Olympic medalist and missionary to China Eric Liddel in this fascinating documentary.