'Every time I step into ring, I see it as an act of worship'

Katie Taylor has revealed that her faith helped her and her family get through a difficult period before and after her defeat in the quarter-finals of the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Katie is the main focus of Life & Soul, an occasional series on RTE One television, which goes out this morning.

The 33-year-old, a two-weight world champion since turning professional, also says she believes she was chosen by God to be an Olympic and world champion.

“When I was about six or seven my mom always says I would stand up on a chair with my hands up in the air pretending that I had this medal. I really believe that God placed that there.

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“Every time I step into the ring I see it as an act of worship.

“When I am training for a fight and I beat my body into an act of submission that’s what I look at it as, an act of worship.

“This is what I was born to do. I get great confidence from that.”

Presenters Colm Flynn and Aine O’Neill travel the country, hearing stories of how faith impacts on life and life on faith.

When asked about her faith during low times, a visibly upset Katie breaks down and explains that God helped her deal with hard times in her relationship with her dad Pete.

“There have definitely been times of huge disappointment for me, that’s for sure.

“Every single person goes through periods of grief and sadness when your heart is wounded. Sometimes you feel like your prayers are hitting the ceiling. I don’t think anybody escapes those.

“But when I look back over those times I can honestly say that God was a lot closer than I thought. I think people have known a small bit about my journey and the disappointing times, even the Rio Olympics – this was the most disappointing time in my career.

“It was a real low point in my career and a real low point personally as well.

“I think as a family we were definitely going through a lot.

“But God has been so good to us during that whole journey and we can honestly say that God has been an anchor for us as well.

“He has completely restored everything, well not completely, but we are definitely in a good spot right now.

“We have gone through an awful lot but God has helped us turn those situations around.”

Earlier this month Katie was pictured for the first time publicly with her dad since they parted ways in the lead-up to the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Her 2018 documentary Katie revealed that his departure had been due to the break-up of his marriage.

Katie told CNN in August that not having her dad by her side at the Olympics had “hurt so much just because of how much I loved him as well”.

“But I still have a great relationship with my dad,” she added.

“I still absolutely love him. He’s always been a hero to me. And, that will never change. But just to go through that was difficult for me.”

The full episode of Life & Soul goes out this morning at 11am on RTE One.

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