A former Olympic star whose track-and-field career dissolved after a series of scandals over steroid use will be guest speaker at a local church Sunday.
Marion Jones will share her faith testimony as part of a presentation at People's Church, 800 E Britton Road.
Jones became one of America's most celebrated track and field athletes at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia. Jones won three gold and two bronze medals at the Sydney Olympics but was stripped of them when she admitted to steroid use in 2007. In 2008, Jones served most of a six-month federal prison sentence for lying to federal agents about the steroid use and for a check-fraud scheme.
Brian Rush, creative director at People's Church, said the Rev. Herbert Cooper, the church's senior pastor, will interview Jones about her life and career as part of Sunday's presentation. He said the presentation will be live at the church's main campus on Britton Road and will be broadcast simultaneously at the church's Midwest City satellite site.
“As all of us have things that have happened that are good and that are tough. We really feel like it will be an inspirational message of hope,” Rush said.
He said church leaders invited Jones to speak because they felt there would be community interest in her story.
“Marion has done a number of these interviews with churches and different organizations where she has shared what God has done in her life, her testimony,” Rush said.
“We're excited to have someone like her who is so well known. We're just hoping that people that wouldn't ordinarily come will come out.”
Tulsa Shock connection
Jones was briefly tied to Oklahoma through her stint with the Tulsa Shock WNBA team. The former sprinter was a member of the women's professional basketball team from March 2010 to July 2011, appearing in 47 games during two seasons.