20 Olympic Quotes to Inspire You to Do Better and Be Better

‘If you don’t have confidence you’ll always find a way not to win.’
August 5, 2016

The Olympic Games bring a sense of togetherness, inspiration and motivation that no other sporting event can. This year, we look to the best of the best to find a piece of ourselves, something we can relate to, a dose of ferocity and grit that we can apply in our own lives.

Related: 10 Tips to Achieve Anything You Want in Life

Let these quotes, from Olympians old and new, inspire you to constantly set the bar higher.

Gabby Douglas
USOC/NBC OLYMPICS

1. “Never quit. Never give up. —Gabby Douglas, gold-medal gymnast


Sanya Richards-RossCITIZEN59/FLICKR

2. “Failure I can live with. Not trying is what I can’t handle.” —Sanya Richards-Ross, gold-medal track and field athlete


Nadia ComaneciWIKIMEDIA COMMONS

3. “I don’t run away from a challenge because I am afraid. Instead, I run toward it because the only way to escape fear is to trample it beneath your feet.” —Nadia Comaneci, gold-medal gymnast


Mia HammCURT GIBBS/FLICKR

4. “I am building a fire, and every day I train, I add more fuel. At just the right moment, I light the match.” —Mia Hamm, gold-medal soccer player


Michael PhelpsKAREN BLAHA/FLICKR

5. “Don’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the further you get.” —Michael Phelps, gold-medal swimmer


Clara HughesDEREK MARKHAM/FLICKR

6.” If you dream and allow yourself to dream, you can do anything.” —Clara Hughes, gold-medal cyclist and speed skater


Pierre de CoubertinADIRAN8_8/FLICKR

7. “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.” —Pierre de Coubertin, father of the modern Olympic Games


Kerri WalshJESSICA QUIRK/FLICKR

8. “The advice I will give to my children, if and when they have Olympic aspirations, will be to go for it.” —Kerri Walsh, gold-medal beach volleyball player


Nancy KerriganWIKIMEDIA COMMONS

9. “Part of being a champ is acting like a champ. You have to learn how to win and not run away when you lose.” —Nancy Kerrigan, bronze and silver-medal figure skater


Picabo StreetJARROD DOLL/FLICKR

10. “To uncover your true potential you must first find your own limits, and then you have to have the courage to blow past them.” —Picabo Street, gold-medal skier


Muhammed AliCLIFF/FLICKR

11. “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” —Muhammad Ali, gold-medal boxer


Sidney CrosbyPOINTNSHOOT/FLICKR

12. “I don’t think you’re human if you don’t get nervous.” —Sidney Crosby, gold-medal hockey player


Lee PearsonWIKIMEDIA COMMONS

13. “We have the can-do factor, and us doing what we do I think inspires people to just try that little bit harder, whether they are able-bodied or disabled.” —Lee Pearson, gold-medal para-equestrian


Carl LewisWIKIMEDIA COMMONS

14. “If you don’t have confidence you’ll always find a way not to win.” —Carl Lewis, gold-medal track and field athlete


Mike KrzyzewskiWIKIMEDIA COMMONS

15. “I have a rule on my team: When we talk to one another, we look each other right in the eye, because I think it’s tough to lie to somebody. You give respect to somebody.”Mike Krzyzewski, gold-medal basketball coach


Lolo JonesGRZEGORZ JERECZEK/FLICKR

16. “There’s always a point where you get knocked down. But I draw on what I’ve learned on the track: If you work hard, things will work out.” —Lolo Jones, gold-medal bobsledder and track and field athlete


Andre AgassiSHINYA SUZUKI/FLICKR

17. “Nothing can substitute for just plain hard work.” —Andre Agassi, gold-medal tennis player


Kristi YamaguchiDAVID/FLICKR

18. “Focus, discipline, hard work, goal setting and, of course, the thrill of finally achieving your goals. These are all lessons in life.” —Kristi Yamaguchi, gold-medal figure skater


Usain BoltNICK WEBB/FLICKR

19. I work hard. And I do good. And I’m going to enjoy myself. I’m not going to let you restrict me.” —Usain Bolt, gold-medal track and field athlete


Lauren CrandallUS EMBASSY/FLICKR

20. “If you think you’re done, you always have at least 40 percent more.” —Lauren Crandall, Olympic field hockey player

 

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