Family Research Council

Track Star Goes the Distance for His Faith


By Tony Perkins
April 11, 2013

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As a Christian athlete, James Vignola sees the benefits of real cross-training. Hello, I'm Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. For one Missouri Freshman, the track season ended before it even began. When coaches learned that James Vignola ran in a pro-life relay, they made him ineligible from sports for a year. According to district rules, students can't compete in "non-school competitions"--even if it's for a good cause like this one. James knew the consequences going in but told reporters, "I thought it was the right thing to do, and my conscience was telling me to do it." This spring, LIFE Runners relayed from Brooklyn to San Francisco raising money for pregnancy care centers. Although James told school officials it wasn't a race, they still ruled him ineligible. "It was about raising awareness," said the organizers--not competing. Still, James said, "I want to offer support for the unborn who don't have a say." As far as he's concerned, this kind of running doesn't just improve lives--it saves them.

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