Inspirational Quotes from Olympic Medal Winners

In her comment on Karin Tabke’s Olympic Fever blog from last Wednesday, Beth Watson said, “I heard that the one gymnast from China had only seen his family 17 days in the last 4 years I was like, WOW, talk about some major sacrifices to achieve your dreams. I’ll no longer whine if I’m writing 10-12 hour days for a week to get a manuscript sent out. I feel like a total slacker compared to these athletes.”

Boy, do I know how Beth feels. These athletes awe and inspire me. In a recent interview with Piers Morgan, U.S. gymnast Aly Raisman (who won the gold for the women’s gymnasts floor exercises) said, “I’ve been dreaming about it ever since I’ve been a little girl.” She went on to say that as she drove back and forth to the gym, she would visualize being at the Olympics.

I can always use inspiration, and I found some great quotes from gold medal winners at Mind Training for Swimmers that I wanted to share:

“With so many people saying it couldn’t be done, all it takes is an imagination.” -Michael Phelps

“I wouldn’t say anything is impossible. I think that everything is possible as long as you put your mind to it and put the work and time into it.” -Michael Phelps.

“Being your best is not so much about overcoming the barriers other people place in front of you as it is about overcoming the barriers we place in front of ourselves. It has nothing to do with how many times you win or lose. It has no relation to where you finish in a race or whether you break world records. But it does have everything to do with having the vision to dream, the courage to recover from adversity and the determination never to be shifted from your goals.” -Kieren Perkins

“I have been visualizing myself every night for the past four years standing on the podium having the gold placed around my neck.” -Megan Quann

“I’m not going to limit myself by nominating times or anything like that. I never thought I’d do 14:34 and I did. I thought I’d maybe do 14:38 or 14:39 that day, and I went nearly five seconds quicker so I don’t want to limit the possibilities.” -Grant Hackett

“I told myself there was no way I was going to let this training go to waste. It was my time, and I was ready to go.” -Katie Hoff

Here are more quotes that I found:

“When anyone tells me I can’t do anything, I’m just not listening any more.” -Florence Griffith Joyner, American athlete, 1988 Summer Olympics

“The first thing is to love your sport. Never do it to please someone else. It has to be yours.” -Peggy Fleming (American figure skater, 1968 Winter Olympics)

“If you don’t have confidence, you’ll always find a way not to win.” –Carl Lewis, USA gold medalist in track and field

“Surpassing my achievements feels incredible; I want to replicate that again and again.” –Katherine Reutter, USA speed skater champion

“You have to train your mind like you train your body.” -Bruce Jenner, USA medalist in the decathlon

“I didn’t set out to beat the world; I just set out to do my absolute best.” –Al Oerter, gold medalist in the disc throw

I could keep going on, because I love these kind of quotes. Instead I’ll end with this one by 16-year-old Gabby Douglas, who won the Olympic all around gold this year for women’s gymnasts:

“Gold medals are made out of your sweat, blood, and tears.”

Books are made the same way. And if we’re lucky, sometimes love and laughter.

All of this resonates with me and my writing. How much of this resonates with something in your life?

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21 Responses to Inspirational Quotes from Olympic Medal Winners

  1. Liz Kreger says:

    Wow … those are some great quotes, Edie. Every one of them inspirational and certainly can be applied to every aspect of your life … whether as a writer or in striving to achieve anything in your life.

    There is no doubt that these people fight and sacrifice a lot for their sport, but then, so does a writer. We give up time with our families, lose ourselves in a story for hours on end and for many, the return is minimal. I’d call that a sacrifice for our art.

    • Edie Ramer says:

      Liz, what’s amazing is that when these kids started on their Olympic journey, many of them were about 7 years old. Years ago, during a winter Olympics, the station did a segment on former Olympic figure skaters who were now doctors, etc. People who used the same drive and work ethic they did to be great skaters to be great in the next part of their career. Maybe that’s the formula: drive + work ethic + attitude + vision = success.

  2. Pingback: Inspirational Quotes & Weird People with Giveaway - Edie Ramer

  3. Dale Mayer says:

    Wow! Love those quotes – and the picture. He is a golden boy right now!

    And all the quotes apply to every little aspect in life where anyone is attempting to achieve ANYTHING. All these athletes are right on.

    If your mind can visualize it, if your heart can believe it, your body can achieve it!
    Dale Mayer`s last blog was …Blog Tour for Family Blood Ties series – Vampire in Denial and Vampire in Distress!

    • Edie Ramer says:

      If your mind can visualize it, if your heart can believe it, your body can achieve it!

      Dale, absolutely! That’s what I’ve been working on now.

  4. Misty Evans says:

    The Olympics have inspired many of us, no matter our profession. I’m reading Come to Win my Venus Williams right now. There are many stories from great athletes, entrepenuers and others in the book that remind me to stay focused and aim high. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be the best at what we do. One of the sentiments from the book that stuck with me is that there is no middle. You’re either reaching for the top or your wasting time at the bottom. And every day is a new beginning. No matter our profession, we choose what path to take. Empowerment and commitment go hand in hand.

  5. Edie,

    I especially love your last two quotes because they do so much reflect what we must do as writers. Each book and daily goal is the result of our blood, sweat, tears, and love of what we’re doing.

    Excellent choice for a glorious rainy Monday morning.
    Casey Clifford`s last blog was …Olympic Thoughts 2012

    • Edie Ramer says:

      Casey, I’m glad the quotes inspired you. All of them in some way inspired me. There were many more. I spent way too much time reading quotes for this blog. lol

  6. I love quotes! I’m always looking for inspirational ones and you’ve def. found some great ones! Thanks for sharing : )

  7. Beth Watson says:

    Omg Edie, I can’t believe you quoted me! Very cool. I feel like a celeb! And I agree completely, these quotes resonate with me as a writer. I think my favorite is this one, but they’re all good. Thanks for sharing!

    “With so many people saying it couldn’t be done, all it takes is an imagination.” -Michael Phelps

    • Edie Ramer says:

      Beth, I was feeling the same amazement about the gymnasts, so your comment resonated. And they were children when they started out! Imagine having that much commitment as a child. Most adults don’t have that commitment.

      I was going to poke you on FB, but I go busy. I’m glad you stopped by.

      • Beth Watson says:

        And I got a kick out of Aly Raisman’s quote “I’ve been dreaming about it ever since I’ve been a little girl.” You’re still a little girl! Okay, she’s 18, but still way young to have accomplished everything she has. Simply amazing!

  8. Amy Remus says:

    My husband and I use a lot of sports quotes with our kids. I think these days our kids are more pampered than earlier generations and don’t have to work as hard for things. I read a book recently called Boundaries with Kids and it reminded me that I am not teaching my kids how to work for things and be strong, independent, driven adults by doing things for them. So, now, I am training them up with a spouse or boss in mind. I want to train them to be the best they can be and know how to work hard for things. Thanks for these quotes!

    • Edie Ramer says:

      Amy, you’re a great mom. I know adults – some in their forties – whose parents are doing everything for them. It’s sad. The parents don’t realizing they aren’t helping their children. Instead, they’re teaching them to be failures. Good for you for giving your kids responsibilities!

  9. Edie, these are amazing quotes. Thanks for sharing them.
    Michelle Diener`s last blog was …Advance Reading Copies of The Emperor’s Conspiracy are here!

  10. Edie,
    We were away from home the past few days, so I’m just seeing your post — I loved these inspirational quotes!! All of them were wonderful, but I especially appreciated this segment of the one by Kieren Perkins: “…it does have everything to do with having the vision to dream, the courage to recover from adversity and the determination never to be shifted from your goals.”
    Yes, and yes again!!
    Marilyn Brant`s last blog was …Let the Games Begin!

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