David McCasland in Eric Liddell: Pure Gold says, “[f]or Eric, there was a great feeling of joy [for winning the gold in 400 meter race in the 1924 Paris Olympics] but no sense of receiving God’s blessing for refusing to run on Sunday. He had won — that’s all. Decisions based on principle needed no circumstantial vindication.” Indeed, he was a man who understood sabbath, who was not enslaved to his work even when the work held out the possibility of an Olympic gold in a 100 meter race.
Do you know what else? As Tim Keller put it, he was not running to chase away his sense of insignificance. “It never occurred to him that he was the only member of the British team to have won two medals in individual races. Part of what endeared him to others was his ability to enjoy his success while being completely detached from any sense that he was responsible for it.”