Sports

I no longer believes in God, Former Olympic champion Jonathan Edwards reveals

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  • Edwards was once so guided by his faith he wouldn’t compete on a Sunday
  • Former Olympic champion still holds the triple jump world record
  • A vicar’s son, he quit as presenter of Songs of Praise in 2007 and revealed he was in personal turmoil after losing his faith
  • Now, he has said: ‘I don’t miss my faith. In many ways I feel more settled and happier in myself without it’
  • Edwards won a gold medal at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney after missing out and winning silver in 1996

Former Olympic champion Jonathan Edwards has revealed he no longer believes in God – but is happier than he’s ever been.

His Christian faith was so important to him as a young man that he refused to compete on a Sunday and famously gave up the chance to take part in the 1991 World Athletics Championships as a result.
But in 2007, the vicar’s son quit as presenter of the BBC’s Songs of Praise and revealed he was in personal turmoil after losing his faith in God.

Now Edwards, 47, has spoken about giving up on Christianity.

‘I just stopped believing in God,’ said Edwards, who won a gold medal at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.

‘I don’t go to church any more. Not at all.’

Edwards, who still holds the world triple jump record that he set 19 years ago, told the Daily Mirror: ‘I am happy 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.

‘Had I suddenly thought that life doesn’t quite feel right, maybe I’d re-examine my faith. In fact, more than ever, I feel comfortable with where I am in life.’

Edwards, who won a silver medal at the 1996 Olympics, has previously said he was ‘slightly embarrassed’ by his former faith.

In 2010, he told Sky News: ‘I think I was probably quite narrow-minded and fundamental in my views and a bit of a scary person.

‘I believed that what I believed was the truth. Some of those extremes I feel slightly embarrassed about now, but overall no regrets.’

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