The Olympics are full of inspiring stories of hard work, adversity, triumph, and defeat. Athletes from all walks of life and from around the world come together to display the results of a lifetime of training, and to compete as representatives of their countries on the biggest stage in sports. For that reason, here are inspiring Olympics quotes to share on Facebook, because my newsfeed needs something a little more positive than a bunch of people yelling about politics.
As the Olympic torch makes its way to Rio to kick of the 31st Summer Olympiad, I'm getting pretty excited. I'm ready to get goosebumps while watching Simone Biles perfectly execute her floor routine. I'm ready to celebrate as Usain Bolt streaks across the finish line. For a sports nerd, the Olympics couldn't come at a more perfect time... and then there's the music. Prior to the games, Katy Perry dropped an Olympic anthem called "Rise," an old school pregame song harkening back to Gloria Estefan's 1996 song "Reach," which was released ahead of the 1996 Atlanta games, the height of the Olympic power of gymnastics' Magnificent Seven.
Without further ado, let's all get inspired to work hard and to win by these iconic Olympic quotes.
1. "Hard days are the best because that’s when champions are made." — Gabby Douglas
Gabby Douglas became the first African-American woman to win gold in both the individual all-around and the team competitions in the same Olympics.
2. "If you want to be the best, you have to do things that other people aren’t willing to do." — Michael Phelps
Michael Phelps knows a thing or two about being the best. He has 18 gold medals from his four Olympic games.
3. "If what you did yesterday still looks big today, you haven’t done much today." — Mike Krzyzewski
Decorated coach of the U.S. men's national basketball team Mike Krzyzewski has done big things with our national team. It's won two consecutive Olympic gold medals, and is undefeated with Krzyzewski at the helm.
4. "Failure I can live with. Not trying is what I can’t handle." — Sanya Richards-Ross
Sanya Richards-Ross has four Olympic gold medals in the women's 400m race. After finishing third at the Beijing Olympics, Richards-Ross fought back to win gold in London.
5. "If we score, we might win. If they never score, we can’t lose!" — Christie Rampone
Rampone exemplifies the mantra that defense wins championships. A defender herself with the U.S. women's soccer team, Rampone has helped the team to clinch three Olympic gold medals and two FIFA World Cup Championships.
6. "Nine out of 10 times we play this team, they would beat us. But not tonight, because tonight is our night. Tonight we win." — Herb Brooks
If you've seen the movie Miracle, which told the story of the U.S. hockey team's improbable come-from-behind victory against the Soviet Union at the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, you know that Herb Brooks was the no-nonsense coach who taught a team of rivals to play together, to put the team ahead of the individual, and not to let a silly little thing like statistics get in the way of their will to win.
7. "Kerri, listen to me. You can do it."— Bela Karolyi
After Kerri Strug fell and twisted her ankle on her first vault, the United States was in a tight competition with Russia for team gold. They needed one more vault from the limping, 18-year-old Strug. Her coach Bela Karolyi looked her in the eye and said, "Kerri, listen to me. You can do it." Kerri limped out to the vault platform as the world held its breath... and did it, sticking a perfect landing on just one good foot to clinch gold.
8. "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
Nadia Comaneci was pretty much the Kerri Strug of my mom's childhood. The Romanian gymnast was the first to ever be awarded a perfect 10 at an Olympic gymnastics event.
9. "I am building a fire, and every day I train, I add a little more fuel. At just the right moment, I light the match." — Mia Hamm
The '90s girl power icon and soccer phenom Mia Hamm stresses the importance of training as the fuel to compete.
10. "Girls playing sports is not about winning gold medals. It’s about self-esteem, learning to compete, and learning how hard you have to work in order to achieve your goals." — Jackie Joyner-Kersee
Sports Illustrated for Women magazine voted Jackie Joyner-Kersee as the Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th Century. The multitalented athlete won three gold medals, a silver medal, and two bronze medals in the Heptathalon and Long Jump.
Images: Getty Images (9); NHL (Public Domain)