10 Quotes From Olympic Icons Throughout History

In the past, Olympic athletes and coaches have surpassed all odds to earn Gold medals and break records. In response to such success, they are regularly asked to share the mantras that helped them succeed on the global stage.

Many athletes spend years training for a competition that can last mere seconds, with incredibly high margins of error. With this reality in mind, Olympians from all walks of life have shared their words of advice on the sports they love, the challenges they overcame and the joy they experienced in achieving their dreams.

While not everyone can be an Olympic athlete, we can all learn from their determination, drive and will to succeed. Discover our top pick of inspiring quotes below, then contact a booking agent to hire an empowering Olympic or Paralympic speaker for your event:


“Each of us has a fire in our hearts for something. It’s our goal in life to find it and keep it lit.” – Mary Lou Retton, 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist in Gymnastics

“I am building a fire, and every day I train, I add more fuel. At just the right moment, I light the match.” – Mia Hamm, Gold Medal-Winning Soccer Player

“I finished last… but I finished.” – Derek Redmond, Record-Breaking Athlete Who Suffered Historic Injury in 1992

“The first thing is to love your sport. Never do it to please someone else. It has to be yours.” – Peggy Fleming, Gold Medal-Winning Figure Skater

“If you fail to prepare, you’re prepared to fail.” – Mark Spitz, Seven-Time Gold Medalist

“Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.” – Wilma Rudolph, Former Fastest Woman in the World

“Nothing is impossible. With so many people saying it couldn’t be done, all it takes is an imagination.” - Michael Phelps, 23-Time Olympic Gold Medallist

“There’s always a point where you get knocked down. But I draw on what I’ve learned on the track: If you work hard, things will work out.” – Lolo Jones, World Indoor Hurdling Championship Gold Medallist

“You have to train your mind like you train your body.” – Caitlyn Jenner, 1976 Decathlon Gold Medalist

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Lauren Perkins

June 14th, 2021

About Lauren Perkins

Joining the Champions family in late 2019, Lauren has increased her skill set as an SEO Apprentice.

Lauren has put her knowledge into practise to produce content for a multitude of Champions websites, blogs and social media posts.  

Achieving a distinction in her Digital Marketing Level 3 Apprenticeship, Lauren is now an SEO Executive who is continually developing her knowledge of the subject.

Working on an array of Champions websites, Lauren strives to ensure that the content is of the highest quality and standard, whilst also reflecting the tone and persona of the brand. 

In her spare time, you can usually find Lauren in the shops adding to her ever-expanding shoe and handbag collection – something which she admits herself is getting a little out of control! 

Looking for an Olympic Speaker?

To discuss the details of your event or book one of our exciting Olympic and Paralympic speakers, call a booking agent at Champions Olympic Speakers on 0207 1010 553 or complete our online contact form.