Venus and Serena Williams as Jehovah's Witnesses

SYDNEY -- "Unstoppable Venus Williams laughed off the suggestion she had nothing left to achieve in tennis after adding an Olympic gold medal to her growing list of triumphs." [NBC]

The fact that Venus (and her sister Serena) are both active Jehovah's Witnesses participating in the Olympics has provoked an interesting reaction from the organization. None at all. So while many Witnesses cheer for Venus, they know deep in their hearts that they would be subject to judicial procedures for much lesser offenses. And when Venus stood on the podium to receive the gold medal to the tune of the American national anthem, she became a different kind of pioneer than to which we are accustomed.

A usual matter of contention among Witnesses is whether the Williams sisters are actually Jehovah's Witnesses or not. Their mother certainly is one of us, and has been for years. The father certainly is not. (He often takes cigarrette breaks during the sister's matches.)

Based on Venus' and Serena's own words and actions, the answer is yes. She was asked in a recent interview what her involvement is with Jehovah's Witnesses.


Venus Williams: Well, we believe -- it's just like tennis. You can't just go once a month and expect your game to be on top. You have to reiterate everything. We believe in good association, association with fellow Witnesses, not becoming too involved with people that don't have the same beliefs and same values that we do. We go to meetings three times a week. They encourage us. You learn there, you learn more, just continue learning until you get a better understanding of things. I guess you are aware that we do house-to-house witnessing. I can't do that at all because I'm on the road. Getting more popular, I don't know if I can go house-to-house. I'm thinking about that.

It is apparent that Venus is one of the best tennis players ever, and the best in the world today. That she is one of Jehovah's Witnesses makes that even more remarkable.

by Obed

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