10 Quotes About Sportsmanship That'll Get You Pumped For The Olympics

After months (years, really) of anticipation, the 2016 Summer Olympic Games are just about here. These athletes train their whole lives for this opportunity; needless to say, their dedication to their sport is unmatched. But becoming an elite athlete isn't just about physical prowess, either; there's also a mental game — and these quotes about sportsmanship demonstrate that mastering a sport also includes learning how to be an honorable athlete and kind human being.

As a competitive athlete myself, I can relate to the mental battle (to an extent, at least). Becoming a better athlete physically is relatively straightforward: If you put the work in, you should see results. Nothing is more challenging and difficult to tame, however, than what's happening inside your mind.

Good sportsmanship is about winning with integrity and losing with grace (and losing is never fun). It's about respecting someone who beats you. It's about giving your all, playing fairly, and walking away from the game with your head held high — regardless of whether you've won or lost.

These athletes' words on sportsmanship ring all too true.

1. "... I think sportsmanship is knowing that it is a game, that we are only as good as our opponents, and whether you win or lose, to always give 100 percent."

- Basketball player Sue Wicks

2. "You've got to be able to lose in grace and win in grace."

- Basketball player Michael Jordan

3. "After I hit a home run I had a habit of running the bases with my head down. I figured the pitcher already felt bad enough without me showing him up rounding the bases."

- Baseball player Mickey Mantle

4. "Be fair. Play hard."

- Baseball player Dan Venezia, formerly of the Minnesota Twins

5. "Whether you win or lose, if you've competed with integrity, you'll always be happy with what you did on the track."

- Pole vaulter Steve Hooker

6. "Sportsmanship to me is when people help each other out even if they are competing against each other."

- Diver Loudy Wiggins

7. "You are never really playing an opponent. You are playing yourself, your own highest standards. And when you reach your limits, that is real joy."

- Tennis player Arthur Ashe

8. "A winner never whines."

- NFL coach Paul Brown

9. "Sportsmanship for me is when a guy walks off the court and you really can't tell whether he won or lost, when he carries himself with pride either way."

- Tennis player Jim Courier

10. "A lion never roars after a kill."

- Basketball coach Dean Smith