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After finishing first in the 100-meter dash at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials, English Gardner hugged her competitors and mimed scooping food from a plate to her mouth. It was a nod to her coach, whom she had told, “If you can get me to the dinner table … I promise I’m going to eat.”

And then, for a moment, that playful bravado gave way to gratitude as Gardner dropped to her knees. She beat the ground, thanking God.

“Thank You, Jesus. Thank You, Jesus. Oh, God, I praise You. I give You so much glory. Thank You, Jesus,” she said.

Gardner’s faith in God is where she draws her confidence from.

Her parents both are pastors, and, the 24-year-old told The Washington Post, “I was taught to speak things into existence.”

“There’s life and death in the power of your tongue. You’re the controller of your fate, and life is about choices. So I always choose to put that positive energy out there.”

Her mother, Monica Gardner, even chose her name because she believed one day it would sound good over a loudspeaker, ESPN reported.

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Pastors’ Daughter and Olympic Sprinter Drops to Track to Praise the Name of Jesus  was originally published on