Skate thee to the convent

By Meghan Murphy-Gill| comments | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Olympic speedskater Kristin Holum won't be participating in this year's Vancouver games. Despite being labled a "champion waiting to happen" by fans of the sport, the Nagano games in 1998 were here first, and only, Olympics. She was 17 years old then and said to have at least a decade left in her before reaching her athletic peak.

Instead of pursuing a champion title,Yahoo Sports reports, Holum joined religious life and now lives as a Franciscan nun at St. Joseph's Convent in Leeds, England. She goes by Sister Catherine.

Holum isn't the only the star athlete to make news in Catholic circles recently. In January, ESPN.com reported that Grant Desme, a major contender for a spot on the Oakland As, was transitioning from sports to the seminary. The minor league baseball MVP said he thought about being a priest for a year and a half before making the decision to leave the possibility of a professional baseball career behind.

And in November 2008, the Washington Post ran a story on Chase Hilgenbrinck, a professional soccer player who decided the priesthood, not the soccer field, was where he was called.

Perhaps a way to get more young people to join religious life and the priesthood is to encourage excellence in atheletics! Can anyone think of more examples of sports stars-turned-priests or nuns?