I have always loved the Olympic games…When I was growing up they were the most awaited televised event along with the annual Jerry Lewis telethon. We knew the athletes and their coaches…it seemed like we knew more olympic athletes than professional athletes. Maybe that is because the Olympics were better televised than most other events, or maybe because professional sports were still more about the sport than the money…maybe it was young naiveté…regardless, we were all glued to the events and eagerly awaited each four year ritual.

As we have just experienced the impressive opening ceremony in London, and are well under way with an array of tantalizing Olympic events, I thought it would be good to look at some various Olympic quotes from an wide spectrum of sources….so relax and soak in some Olympic thoughts 🙂


“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 (primarily responsible for the revival of the Olympic Games in 1894)

“The six colours, including the white background, represent the colours of all the world’s flags … this is a true international emblem.”
– Pierre de Coubertin

“It is the inspiration of the Olympic Games that drives people not only to compete but to improve, and to bring lasting spiritual and moral benefits to the athlete and inspiration to those lucky enough to witness the athletic dedication.”
– Herb Elliott (Australian middle-distance Runner)

“If you don’t try to win you might as well hold the Olympics in somebody’s back yard.”
– Jesse Owens (American Athlete, 4 time Gold Medalist in Track and Field at the 1936 Olympic Games, 1913-1980)

“I wanted no part of politics. And I wasn’t in Berlin to compete against any one athlete. The purpose of the Olympics, anyway, was to do your best. As I’d learned long ago from Charles Riley, the only victory that counts is the one over yourself.” ~ Jesse Owens

“An Olympic medal is the greatest achievement and honor that can be received by an athlete. I would swap any World Title to have won gold at the Olympics.”  – Jeff Fenech (Australian boxer, 1984 Summer Olympics)

“For six years, I kept my five Olympic medals wrapped in a plastic bread bag beneath my bed.”  ~Mary Lou Retton

Most other competitions are individual achievements, but the Olympic Games is something that belongs to everybody.  ~Scott Hamilton

“If my dreams can happen to me, your dreams can happen to you. Champions are not made on the track or field; champions are made by the things you accomplish and the way you use your abilities in everyday life situations.”
– Bob Beamon, (world record holder for long jump from 1968 to 1991.)

“If you don’t have confidence, you’ll always find a way not to win.”
– Carl Lewis, (10-time Olympic medalists in Track and Field events.)

“I always believe I can beat the best, achieve the best. I always see myself in the top.” – Serena Williams, (two-time tennis Olympic gold medalist at women’s doubles.)

“The moment I think about past letdowns or future hypotheticals, I mentally put myself on shaky ground. If I clear my mind of chatter, I can succeed, just like I did in 2006.” – Julia Mancuso, (3-time Olympic medalist in skiing.) 

“Aristotle compiled the first known comprehensive list of all winners of the Olympic Games. Which means that quite probably he was sat in a bar with Plato, muttering ‘Go on then, give me any year you like and I’ll tell you who won the four-man bobsleigh.’ ”
Mark Steel (in The Independent (2006)

“Winning is great, sure, but if you are really going to do something in life, the secret is learning how to lose. Nobody goes undefeated all the time. If you can pick up after a crushing defeat, and go on to win again, you are going to be a champion someday.” Wilma Rudolph

“The Olympics remain the most compelling search for excellence that exists in sport, and maybe in life itself.” DawnFraser

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