Ever in need of an extra push? These 12 motivational Olympic athlete quotes will shove you, in the best way possible. If there's one personality trait that can be attributed to each and every Olympic athlete, it has to be that of perseverance. There is no way that any of the athletes competing at this summer's Olympics would have ever made it that far without buckets of it.
It's easy for motivation to dry up after defeat, but I believe that one of the most important things that a person can learn is that defeat isn't eternal. You can fall down once, twice, or a million times, but you can also get up just as frequently. With every failure comes a lesson to learn and some growth to endure, bringing you that much closer to your goal.
We can all use some external forces of motivation in our lives every now and again, and these quotes provide just that. Sometimes it's hard to tell ourselves to get up and try again, but when Serena Williams or Billie Jean King is telling you to get up, you're going to feel more motivated to do it. Take in these quotations and let them sink deep — the world is ours, we just have to fight for it sometimes.
1. “We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.” — Jesse Owens
2. “For me, I’m focused on what I want to do. I know what I need to do to be a champion, so I’m working on it.” — Usain Bolt
3. “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
4. “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
5. “The key is not the will to win. Everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important.” — Bobby Knight
6. “Nothing can substitute for just plain hard work.” — Andre Agassi
7. “One word: ‘Fight.’ Anyone can do it when it feels good. When you’re hurting, that’s when it makes a difference, so you have to keep fighting.” — Erin Cafaro
8. “You’ve got to look for tough competition. You’ve got to want to beat the best.” — Grete Waitz
9. “I always believe I can beat the best, achieve the best. I always see myself in the top.” — Serena Williams
10. “‘Breathe, believe, and battle.’ My former coach, Troy Tanner, told us that before each match. Breathe — be in the moment. Believe — have faith that you can rise above it. Battle — you gotta be prepared to go for as long as it takes.” — Kerri Walsh
11. “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
12. “A champion is afraid of losing. Everyone else is afraid of winning.” — Billie Jean King