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Olympic Quotes Honoring Competition

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Push yourself to the limit with these amazing quotes about the Olympics. 

Elite athlete Dawn Fraser once said, “The Olympics remain the most compelling search for excellence that exists in sport, and maybe in life itself.”

The Olympic games celebrate the highest levels of competition from the most skilled athletes in the world. 

The Olympics have served as a platform for sports excellence and a place where powerful messages of peace and solidarity are shared.

Iconic and memorable moments that changed the course of earth’s history occurred at the Olympic games. 

Some of these include Jesse Owens disproving Hitler’s Nazi supremacy theory,  Tommie Smith and John Carlos holding up their fists in solidarity with oppressed people, and North Korea walking in unity with South Korea. 

Relive some of the best moments in Olympic history with our exciting Olympic quotes. 

Inspirational Olympics quotes

1. “I went to five Olympic Games, and my favorite is Sydney.” Abhinav Bindra

2. “For athletes, the Olympics are the ultimate test of their worth.” — Mary Lou Retton

3. “If you don’t try to win, you might as well hold the Olympics in somebody’s backyard.” Jesse Owens

4. “I’m so over the moon that I have the opportunity to represent my country at a third Olympic Games.” Libby Trickett

5. “There is something in the Olympics, indefinable, springing from the soul, that must be preserved.” Chris Brasher

6. “The Olympics remain the most compelling search for excellence that exists in sport, and maybe in life itself.” Dawn Fraser

7. “Everything about the Olympics was first class, and women were treated as athletes and equals.” Elizabeth Robinson Schwartz

8. “I still can’t believe I won the Olympics. That’s what I feel right now – completely alive as a human being. It’s a really beautiful moment.” Clara Hughes

9. “It had been a dream of mine to go to an Olympic Games since I was about seven years old. I didn’t know I’d do it ski jumping, but that’s how it turned out.” Eddie the Eagle

10. “I run to be known as the greatest runner, the greatest of all time. I could not eat or sleep for a week after I lost in the (1992) Olympics. I have to win or die.” — Noureddine Morceli

Olympic quotes about teamwork

11. “The Olympic Games is a celebration of discipline.” Sunday Adelaja

12. “I would swap any World Title to have won gold at the Olympics.” — Jeff Fenech

13. “Nah, I think I’m gonna play for the Tune Squad this summer instead of the Olympics.” Lebron James

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14. “An Olympic medal is the greatest achievement and honor that can be received by an athlete.” Jeff Fenech

15. “There can be distractions, but if you’re isolated from the heart of the Games, the Olympics become just another competition.” Mary Lou Retton

16. “It has been said that the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games is something that an athlete will remember for the rest of their life.” Jeff Fenech

17. “Many track and field people know that if I stay relaxed and run my race like I’m supposed to, I will be the winner at the Olympic Games.” Asafa Powell

18. “The greatest memory for me of the 1984 Olympics was not the individual honors, but standing on the podium with my teammates to receive our team gold medal.” Mitch Gaylord

19. “It’s not about winning at the Olympic Games. It’s about trying to win. The motto is faster, higher, stronger, not fastest, highest, strongest. Sometimes it’s the trying that matters.” Bronte Barratt

20. “It is the inspiration of the Olympic Games that drives people not only to compete but to improve, and to bring lasting spiritual and moral benefits to the athlete and inspiration to those lucky enough to witness the athletic dedication.” Herb Elliott

Motivational and funny Olympic quotes

21. “There is something in the Olympics, indefinable, springing from the soul, that must be preserved.” Chris Brasher

22. “Everything about the Olympics was first class, and women were treated as athletes and equals.” Elizabeth Robinson Schwartz

23. “That moment when you walk into the Olympic Stadium as part of the Australian Olympic Team, is a moment that I will never forget.” — Jeff Fenech

24. “I still can’t believe I won the Olympics. That’s what I feel right now – completely alive as a human being. It’s a really beautiful moment.” — Clara Hughes

25. “The purpose of the Olympics, anyway, was to do your best. As I’d learned long ago from Charles Riley, the only victory that counts is the one over yourself.” Jesse Owens

26. “I run to be known as the greatest runner, the greatest of all time. I could not eat or sleep for a week after I lost in the (1992) Olympics. I have to win or die.” — Noureddine Morceli 

27. “My only focus was the Olympics because, in my sport, that is the ultimate. Everything is geared toward that, and my entire life was geared around getting there and winning gold.” Cammi Granato

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28. “At the Olympics, you there to do a job. I feel you should take it seriously. You should be respectful. You are putting on the red-white-and-blue and going out there to perform for your country.” — Shannon Miller

29. “The Olympics are a wonderful metaphor for world cooperation, the kind of international competition that’s wholesome and healthy, an interplay between countries that represents the best in all of us.” John Williams

30. “It is the inspiration of the Olympic Games that drives people not only to compete but to improve, and to bring lasting spiritual and moral benefits to the athlete and inspiration to those lucky enough to witness the athletic dedication.” Herb Elliott

Olympic games quotes

31. “Most people should be given a chance to compete in the Olympic Games” Eddie the Eagle

32. “I love wushu a lot, and I would love to see it included in future Olympic Games.” Jackie Chan

33. “If you can come to the Olympic Games and leave with a medal, then that is alright.” Yohan Blake

34. “You can’t really rely on a couple of athletes to deliver you medals in five consecutive Olympic Games.” — Abhinav Bindra

35. “10,000 athletes go and compete at an Olympic Games, only 300 go back with a gold medal, the number is very, very less.” Abhinav Bindra

36. “The interesting thing about business, it’s not like the Olympics. You don’t get any extra points for the fact that something’s very hard to do.” Warren Buffett

37. “It’s the Olympics. And it was a long way for me. To compete at the Olympic Games, I dreamed of any medal, but frankly speaking, I wanted a gold one.” Adelina Sotnikova

38. “The Olympic Games are a global celebration of our hopes, ideals, and values. Laurel Hubbard The Olympic Games of the Modern Era began in 1896 in the city of Athens.” Bill Toomey

39. “The Olympic Games must not be an end in itself; they must be a means of creating a vast program of physical education and sports competitions for all young people.” Avery Brundage

40. “My main point in this regard was to compete for my country and my people and to receive the support of the entire Cuban society, to carry my flag in whatever competition I was in, the Olympic Games, Pan-American Games.” Alberto Juantorena

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Olympics quotes by Pierre de Coubertin and others 

41.  “Holding an Olympic Games means evoking history.” Pierre de Coubertin

42. “The Olympic Games are always in the head of every sports athlete. We work for that.” Tina Maze

43. “The Olympic Games were created for the exaltation of the individual athlete.” Pierre de Coubertin

44. “I never thought about competing in the Olympic Games when I was growing up.” Simone Biles

45. “The Olympic Games are for the world, and all nations must be admitted to them.” Pierre de Coubertin

46. “To win a gold medal at Olympic Games has long been my dream ever since I started my career as a table tennis player.” Ma Long

47. “The six colors, including the white background, represent the colors of all the world’s flags … this is a true international emblem.” Pierre de Coubertin

48. “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.” Pierre de Coubertin

49. “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.” Pierre de Coubertin

50. “They usually say that after the Olympic Games, somebody’s life changes forever, and a lot of times, it’s the gold medalist. But I have a feeling that my life has changed forever.” Adam Rippon

What did you learn from these Olympics quotes?

The Olympic games represent unity.

The five rings on the official Olympic flag represent the union of the five inhabited continents – Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania. 

They are interlinked to symbolize unity among the athletes competing from around the globe. 

Olympian Mary Lou Retton said, “For athletes, the Olympics are the ultimate test of their worth.” 

The first Olympic games occurred back in Greece in 776 B.C.

Athletes gathered to honor and celebrate Zeus, competing in competitions of boxing, chariot racing, discus, javelin, long jump, and wrestling. 

Back then, events could last up to six months, and athletes participated in the nude. 

A lot has changed since the early days of Olympic competitions, but the games’ spirit remains the same.

Twenty-three different countries have hosted the Olympic games since the ‘new’ Olympics started in 1896. 

Do you have a favorite Olympic quote?

Be sure to let us know in the comments.

Clifton Sankofa
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