The new tennis icon has clearly expressed how a relationship with God and the church family is core to her life. But most profiles in the media just ignore it.
Athletes often highlight what is important to them in their lives at times of success.
When they receive awards, when they have achieved the goal for which they have fought hard, they mention their family, coaches or the support of their fans.
Successful athletes are almost always disciplined and meticulous, aware of the effort involved in success. And many find in their Christian faith not only a support, but also a strong motivation to develop their careers and achieve their goals.
Young tennis player Coco Gauff's public expressions of her Christian faith abound. Despite her youth, both in her social media profiles and in her interviews she has clearly expressed how a relationship with God and the church family is core to her life.
[destacate]Coco has clearly expressed how a relationship with God and the church family is core to her life
[/destacate]Her recent victory at the US Open (her first Grand Slam) was no exception. After winning, she knelt down to pray, a gesture she later explained as a public way of thanking God.
Speaking to the crowds, she again mentioned the importance of her faith: “That French Open [Roland Garros] loss was a heartbreak. I realized God puts you through trials. This makes this moment even sweeter than I could imagine”.
Gauff, who is only 19, has become an icon, because her victories come with outstanding attitudes towards her rivals, and her awareness of social issues such as women's inequality, racism or mental health.
However, the reality of Gauff's faith is being largely ignored by the media, especially outside the US. Most articles highlight her off-court qualities without mentioning something as important as Christian faith in the development of those qualities.
When the Spanish newspaper El País interviewed Coco a year ago, she was asked about many social and political issues: racism, discrimination, feminism, etc., but not a single question about her values and ethics. Would it not be interesting for the reader to know why an 18 year old girl quotes the Bible often?
[destacate]Journalists and commentators seem to struggle tu understand that the Christian faith is integral
We live in a society that is increasingly secularised and ignorant of the religious fact. Journalists and commentators seem to struggle tu understand that the Christian faith is integral. For a Christian, it is normal - or it should be normal - to be able to express it and live by it in every area of life.
But this gagging of the spiritual dimension of believers in the media contrasts with the loudspeaker that is used to caricature, deform or exaggerate everything that can be negative in people who identify as believers.
Could it be that some media want to stereotype the Christian faith as not only old-fashioned, but also negative? Hiding the faith of people who are admired by all is to be untruthful. But the sun cannot be covered with a finger.