cover image Far Beyond Gold: Running from Fear to Faith

Far Beyond Gold: Running from Fear to Faith

Sydney McLaughlin. Thomas Nelson, $29.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7852-9799-4

U.S. Olympian McLaughlin debuts with a soaring testimony to the faith that helped her surmount anxiety, forge a new identity in God, and win gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (which were held in 2021 due to Covid lockdowns). After squeaking onto the 2016 Olympic track team at age 16, McLaughlin battled imposter syndrome and crippling anxiety that crested during the Rio games, leaving her without a medal and full of regret. She vowed to return to the Olympics and arrived in Tokyo fueled by a renewed faith, which had ignited by her boyfriend (and eventual husband) Andre Levrone Jr., a former NFL player she’d met in 2020. Newly aware that her “main identity [was]... a daughter of God,” McLaughlin ceded what she couldn’t control, maintained “confidence that His perfect will was going to happen,” and ended up clinching two gold medals (in the 400 meter hurdles and the 400 meter relay). She renders her battles with anxiety, panic attacks, and low self-esteem in candid and unadorned prose, and her uplifting message to release “other people’s expectations” and instead “find your identity in [Jesus]” resonates. Readers won’t need to be athletes to find inspiration here. (Jan.)