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Top 10 Modern Olympian Quotes

Posted December 10, 2012 by Jonathan Baron

The modern Olympic games are based off the idealized concepts of the ancient Greek Olympic Games.  Nations gather to test their athletic ability against one another, in a show of cooperation and peace.  In Greece, the Hellenistic city-states would suspend war once every four years and agree to a truce so that the athletes could gather and compete in safety.

Below you'll find some of the most inspiring and interesting quotes from the modern Olympic Games, from the 2012 summer games, to one of the founders words.


"The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part . . . The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well." - Pierre de Coubertin

This was said by one of the founders of the modern Olympic Games.  He was  a French aristocrat with the title of Baron .  He was inspired to create the Olympic Games after visiting England in his twenties and observed in their organized sports how it could create "moral and social strength."  He believed that the competition of the Olympics could teach people to live in peace.


"Records are always made to be broken no matter what they are. Anybody can do anything that they set their mind to." - Michael Phelps

Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, said this upon winning his eighth Olympic gold medal and setting his eighth Olympic record. 


"I can't even describe what it feels like." - Shaun White

In the snowboarding event at the Olympics for the halfpipe, the contestants perform two runs.  After his first run, White had the gold medal and it did not matter what he did in his second, as the higher of the two scores is what is used.  He performed an extremely difficult trick, a double Mctwist 1260, and scored even higher than his first run.


"It's what I came here to do, I'm now a legend." - Usain Bolt

Here Bolt "permits" the world to proclaim him a sporting legend.  This was after becoming the first man to repeat his Olympic titles in the 100 and 200 meter events.  He currently holds the world record for times in both.  He added, "A lot of people say I am a legend, but this is going to define me as a legend."  100 and 200m world record holder. "


"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

The first female gymnast to receive a perfect score in the modern Olympic games.  She did so in 1976, earning 3 gold medals for Romania.  She eventually defected to the United States.


"There are little cats and lions but in the Olympics sometimes the lion turns into a little cat, and the little cat into a lion." - Juliana Felisberta

This was spoken by a Beach Volleyball world champion from Brazil.  The Brazilian team was defeated in the semifinals in 2012 by the American team that went on to take the silver.  The Brazilians were seeded at number one and expected to win the event.


"I hope that this medal inspires the kids at home to put down guns and knives and pick up a pair of trainers instead. If they do that, I will be the happiest guy in the world." - Erick Barrondo

Barrondo won the silver in the 20 kilometer walk.  He is the first athlete from Guatemala to ever win an Olympic medal.


"'Inspire a generation' is our motto. Not necessarily 'Create a generation', which is what they sometimes get up to in the Olympic village." - Boris Johnson

Spoken by the Mayor of London.  He is known for his brevity and joking, honest quips.  Every Olympics there are rumors of sexual escapades within the Olympic village between the athletes.


"For athletes, the Olympics are the ultimate test of their worth." - Mary Lou Retton

A gold medal, by itself, does not carry with it a prize purse or any endorsement by a company.  Even successful athletes who have not won an Olympic medal have said that is still their fondest athletic dream to succeed at the Olympics.  The above quote was spoken by the first female gymnast not  from Eastern Europe and Russia to win the all-around Gymnastics gold.


"If you don't have confidence, you'll always find a way not to win." - Carl Lewis

Lewis is a 10-time Olympic medalist.  He holds medals in the long jump, the 100 and 200 meter events, and the 4x100 meter relay.  He is known for his extremely confident nature, a nature that occasionally rubbed his teammates and competitors the wrong way.  He was named the "Olympian of the century" by Sports Illustrated in 1999.


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