South Jersey sprinter English Gardner praised Jesus on track as she broke world's record and overcame a devastating injury that had almost caused her to lose her chances of running again.
"Thank you Jesus. Thank you Jesus," exclaimed Gardner as she kneeled down on the track, as shown in a video clip posted by NBC Olympics on Facebook Sunday, July 3.
"Oh God I praise you," Gardner went on. "I give you so much glory. Thank you Jesus."
The video made Gardner a viral sensation as it garnered 1.5 million views, almost 15,000 likes and more than a thousand comments.
"An athlete who genuinely gives God praise after doing well rather than the obligatory 'it was for God's glory' speech to a camera. Really seems she was walking with Him through the process," commented Nicole Piunno, who also described the video as fun and Gardner's reaction as refreshing. Piunno's comment garnered more than 800 likes.
According to CSN Philly, a devastating knee injury in 2008 that tore Gardner's right ACL, MCL and lateral meniscus almost doomed her chances of ever competing on track again. Nearly all colleges backed out from recruiting the young athlete on scholarship except Oregon.
Eight years after, the 24-year-old native of South Jersey is headed for the Olympics. The graduate of Eastern High School in Voorhees broke world record when she competed for the 100-meter dash at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon on Sunday.
Her winning time of 10.74 did not just secure her slot in this year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil but it also made her America's fourth-fastest sprinter and the world's seventh-fastest sprinter in history.
The promising athlete also claimed to be a Bible reader and that she related to the Biblical characters, especially Noah.
"I started reading a lot and reading stories — 'David and Goliath' and 'Noah' and 'Daniel in the Lion's Den.' Little stories like that I've heard as a little girl but kinda interpreting them and putting them in my life," she told The Oregonian.