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:

Top 10 Quotes from Olympic Athletes

“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

“Never put an age limit on your dreams,”Dara Torres, 12-Time Olympic Medallist in Swimming

“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 Medalist

“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

Book an Inspiring Olympic Speaker

To hire an Olympic athlete for your corporate conference or sports-themed event, contact the Champions Olympic Speakers agency on 01509 85 29 27 or fill out our online booking form to reach a booking agent.