Olympic gymnast Grace McCallum will carry her rosary as she travels to Tokyo. The 18-year-old is making headlines, not just for her skills at the vault, but also for her Catholic faith.
In a 2019 interview with The Central Minnesota Catholic, Grace’s mother Sandy talked about her daughter’s Catholic faith. According to Sandy, Grace carries a rosary and a special cross from her grandmother wherever she goes.
Sandy explained “She travels with those things to kind of bring her peace and calm,” Sandy said. “Grace won’t travel anywhere without them.”
Sandy went on to note that the two of them make a point of finding a Catholic church wherever they travel. This, she said, “keeps [her] sane” as they deal with the rigorous schedule of a competitive athlete.
Grace is one of five siblings, born to a devout Catholic family. The McCallums live in Isanti, Minnesota, where they belong to St Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish. According to Catholic News Agency, one of the things the family values most is prayer.
In fact, Grace credits her 2019 bronze medal win to prayers to St Philomena, her Confirmation saint. The day of the competition fell on St Philomena’s feast day, August 11. Grace says she knows that her talent was a gift from God and this knowledge drives her to new heights.
She told Central Minnesota Catholic: “Definitely, whenever I have a rough day, in the gym or competition, I just know God gave me this talent,” Grace said. “I need to use it and not waste it.”
In her career, McCallum has won two gold medals at the World Championships. Additionally, she earned five gold medals at the Pacific Rim and Pan American Championships in 2018.
In the 2021 Olympic trials, McCallum secured the #4 spot thanks to her above average skill at the vault. (Aleteia.org)