Christians Today

Christian teen cross country star refuses to run race after being given ‘mark of the beast’ 666 rib

  • Kentucky race officials refused to give Codie Thacker a new number.

  • High School coach praised athlete for standing up for her principles.

 A Christian teenager refused to compete in a regional cross country trial on Saturday after being issued with a rib marked 666. Codie Thacker had been training since June for the race but said seeing the bib with ‘the mark of the beast’ made her sick.

Her Whitley County high school coach tried to get race organizers to issue her with a new number, but when they refused Codie put faith before her desire to win and pulled out of the race.’I just don’t believe that 666 should be a number that’s anywhere on your body and I did not want that number associated with me. It kind of made me sick,’ Codie told WKYT.

‘I’ve been training since June for this race, and it’s kind of like the climax of my season to run regionals and to see how well I do,’ she added.The numbers used to identify competitors are computer generated, and Codie’s coach Gina Croley was surprised when race organizers refused to change it. ‘I don’t think it was any type of you know let’s give somebody this number, but when it was brought to their attention, I feel like if it were possible, it could have been changed,’ she said. But when the Kentucky High School Athletic Association refused to swap the bib, Codie decided her faith was more important than the chance to win a medal.

‘I was upset, because I’d trained all season for it. But in another sense I stood up for my beliefs and I stood up for God,’ she said. Joe Angolia, a spokesman for the athletic association, said officials did not know the teenager had objected to the number for religious reasons. Mr Angolia said: ‘We’ve made adjustments to uniform codes and things like that in the past when it’s known that religious reasons are in play.’Despite her refusal to race, Codie’s decision was supported by her coach who praised her for standing up for her beliefs. Ms Croley said, ‘I wouldn’t have been more proud of her if she won the entire meet. She stood on her principles.’

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