10 inspiring quotes from Olympic athletes



The founder of the modern Olympics, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, once said: “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.”

It’s an inspiring message, befitting an event that has brought us some of the most memorable moments in sporting history. As athletes fight it out for gold, silver and bronze in Rio, here is a list of quotes by Olympians who, through hard work and determination, have left an indelible mark on the greatest event in sports.


He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life

– Muhammad Ali (Olympic light heavyweight champion, Rome 1960)


If you fail to prepare, you’re prepared to fail

– Mark Spitz (Nine-time Olympic swimming champion)


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 (Double Olympic champion, soccer)


Never put an age limit on your dream

– Dara Torres (Four time Olympic champion, swimming)


I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed

– Michael Jordan (Double Olympic champion, basketball)


You have to believe in yourself when no one else does — that makes you a winner right there

– Venus Williams (Four time Olympic gold medalist, tennis)


Each of us has a fire in our hearts for something. It’s our goal in life to find it and keep it lit

– Mary Lou Retton (Gymnastics, gold medalist at the Los Angeles Games, 1984)


This ability to conquer oneself is no doubt the most precious of all things sports bestows

– Olga Korbut (Four time gold medalist, gymnastics)


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 (Five time Olympic champion, track and field)


“You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get.”

– Michael Phelps (Most decorated olympian of all time)

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