Carlos Ballve – known as “Litus” to his friends – plays defense on the Spanish field hockey team that is competing in the London 2012 Olympic Games. But as soon as the competition ends, he will head to a Belgium seminary to begin the process of becoming priest.
According to the Spanish daily El Pais, even though he always considered himself a believer, it was only in 2005 that he became aware of the importance of God in his life.
In the summer of that year, everything began to change while he competed at the under-21 World Championships.
“We began the competition terribly. It was so bad that one Sunday I went to Mass and made a deal with God: I told him that if he fixed that Championship, I would go to Medjugore (where the alleged Marian apparitions are still being studied by the Vatican) with my father. We made history. Never before had a U-21 team won a medal, and we came in third,” he said.
Ballve kept his promise and visited Medjugore. However, he said his life still did not change, as he continued “to go to parties with girls, spend money left and right, and had little or no intention of praying.”
But “something inside of me said, 'Litus, you are free and you can do what you want, but right now you are not happy.'”
Although he was at the top of his game, he decided to quit again and go in search for God.
“I told him, 'I don’t know what’s wrong. Strange things are happening. I want to come clean with you, so here I am, do what you want.'”
His life began to change, and he only asked the Lord to let him fulfill his dream of playing in the Olympics.
Ballve called his time at the games thus far “an incredible and precious experience.” He said he hopes “not only to win, but to grow in my living of the faith, sharing this with people from so many parts of the world,” the newspaper reported.