Many athletes have something — or someone — that motivates and inspires them. For Emerald Egwim, it is her faith in God.
Egwim, a member of the Minnesota women’s track and field team, said her faith is what made her who she is in all aspects of life — and doing the little things is what helps her improve as an athlete and person.
Every morning she wakes up and tries to do a devotional and prayer.
“I believe that in studying the word of God, and, like, praying, and spending that time to devote to God, I am bettering myself and I’m also making myself better for the different things I’m involved in,” Egwim said.
Throughout the day, Egwim reads bible verses on her phone. Of these verses, Proverbs 3:5-6 is one that is important to her.
The verse is a reminder that in some moments — especially challenging ones — she needs to take a step back and trust God will guide her.
“Up ’til now, God has been the only thing that has never failed me, and has continued to help me and make me better,” Egwim said.
She doesn’t take her relationships with God or the people around her for granted.
“I don’t believe that any of my ability or anything that I have achieved I achieved on my own,” Egwim said. “That is God, and that is my coaches, and that is my teammates, and that is my family.”
The junior’s achievements haven’t gone unnoticed at Minnesota.
She now holds the indoor and outdoor program records for the 400-meter dash.
Egwim improved on her indoor record this season with a time of 52.73 seconds at the Big Ten Championship meet in the preliminary race.
She later qualified for the indoor NCAA Championships, where she came in 16th place and was named a Second Team All-American.
Egwim later ran a similar time of 52.75 outdoor to be in possession of both 400-meter records, and 52.75 is the fastest time in the 400-meter in the Big Ten this season.
Egwim’s teammate Kimberly Golding said Egwim is a hard working, determined and humble human being, but none of her accomplishments would be possible without her faith.
“I can see that she’s really getting better as an athlete and as an individual,” Golding said. “I can also see that she brings forth her faith. She wouldn’t have done this without the Lord.”
Egwim said her involvement in track and field sometimes makes going to church difficult.
However, she stresses the importance for her to pray and worship outside of that time.
“Being spiritual is something that you can do on your own,” Egwim said. “God has been something I can always lean back on and find peace in.”
Egwim is focused on improving her times as the Big Ten Championships are about a month away.
“It’s also bettering my best, working harder, and pushing myself [in an effort toward] extending my limits,” Egwim said.