Olympic athletes may not be known for their humor so much as their superhuman abilities, but they can be surprisingly witty as evidenced by these funny Olympics quotes. The countless hours spent in the gym, the pool, or on the slopes preparing for the Games allows for little precious time to plan for the many interviews that accompany a big win or loss, which can be the perfect recipe for comedy. Athletes have said some pretty humorous off-the-cuff remarks after stepping off the hallowed podium, and these quotes will have you laughing all the way to Rio.
Of course, the Olympic Games are the most prestigious competition and taking home a medal can be a career defining moment — so it's not really a good time to try out a standup routine. The pressure surrounding the qualifying rounds and the games themselves is high. The athletes are under the world's lens, riding an incredibly intense emotional rollercoaster, with a nation's pride at stake. No biggie, right? Humor is a helpful way to handle the pressure, lighten the load, and stay sane. Usually athletes or coaches when asked for a quote will go the inspirational route, but some classic one-liners will genuinely put a smile on your face.
In less than two weeks we shall see for ourselves who medals in comedy this year. I mean, who could forget the "McKayla is not impressed" memes that followed the U.S. gymnast's epic podium smirk? To tide us over till the torch is lit, here are a few great quotes that will remind you just how important it is to maintain a sense of humor — even on the uneven bars.
1. "If you're the Olympic champion then they have to wait four more years to get you again." — Usain Bolt, sprinter, six-time gold medal winner
2. "In the end, I am just a guy wearing spandex that turns left really fast." — Olivier Jean, Short-track skater, Gold Medalist 500 meter relay, 2010
3. "All I've done is run fast. I don't see why people should make much fuss about that." — Fanny Blankers-Koen, sprinter, four-time gold medal winner at the 1948 Summer Olympics
4. Interviewer: "What would be a reason not to go to the gym?" Aliya: "Death." — Gymnast Aliya Mustafina, Gold Medalist for the Uneven Bars, 2012
5. "I have been dubbed 'the girl who puts the glamour into hammer.'" — Sophie Hitchon, Hammer thrower and Olympian
7. "If you don’t try to win you might as well hold the Olympics in somebody’s back yard." — Jesse Owens, track and field, four-time Olympic gold medalist in 1936
8. "I was not talented enough to run and smile at the same time" — Emil Zatopek (referring to his unique facial expression), long-distance runner and four-time gold medalist
9. "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, American soccer player and two-time gold medalist
10. "In gymnastics, everything is a competition. You want to have your hair look the best and your makeup look the best. You want to be the best, and you want to have the prettiest leotard."— McKayla Maroney, artistic gymnast and gold medalist
11. "I'm not satisfied. The silver medalist is the first loser." — Koen Verweij, speed skater and silver medalist
12. "We wish much luck to all the journalists who will clearly have much joy criticizing us." —Mikhail Chekanov, Russia's women's ice hockey coach
13. "If you fail to prepare, you’re prepared to fail." — Mark Spitz, competitive swimmer and nine-time gold medalist