- On the way back from the stadium on Tuesday evening I chatted to a coach from an English-speaking nation who admitted that the team was suffering low morale due to not doing so well as expected. We talked and she took my contact details saying that she'd like to get in touch if/when she thought that others in the team might like to talk.
- Whilst in the Stadium Chapel on Wednesday evening a runner came in after her event, sat for a while, and then asked me to pray with her.
- Another incident on Wednesday evening resulted from an athlete hurt in a fall (not on the track) being taken through the mixed zone outside the chapel to a medical room. Not long afterwards 3 anxious team officials arrived. Despite being from a predominantly non-Christian country, they reacted kindly to the offer of sitting quietly in the chapel rather than standing in the bustle of the mixed zone. I was also able to respond to their requests for water to drink and later for tissues to wipe their worried faces. Although not sharing the same faith, they expressed their gratitude at these examples of Christian service.
- On Thursday in the Oasis of Silence at the other Team Hotel, I led a Bible reflection but first had to call two other chaplains to come to help with translation. I led the reflection in English, the Bible reading was in German whilst the 1 team official and the 1 athlete followed in French and Spanish bibles respectively, and my words were likewise simultaneously translated into French and Spanish. In the following time of prayer, each person was invited to pray in their own mother tongue, which actually added a 5th language!
- Whilst in that hotel, I was able to have a brief meeting with someone from the Japanese delegation to help equip me for the times when Japanese athletes will be at Loughborough, and also responded to a German volunteer who said to me "You're a chaplain? Can I talk with you?"
I'm aware that the anonymity of some of the stories in my blog might seem a bit too vague for some readers, but I hope you will understand that this is essential to maintain confidentiality, trust and integrity - and I had cause to say something similar to some media people in the mixed zone on Wednesday evening who during a conversation with them ask if athletes really did come into the chapel and if so were they famous ones.......