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I am very proud of my mom and consider her the most courageous woman I know. With perseverance, sacrifice and hard work, she raised a family of Olympic athletes and gave us the tools and the spirit to succeed. That is something that my brothers and I will always be thankful for.
There are some real memorable highlights in my history that, in my mind, are such milestones. Winning a national championship in college and being on the Olympic platform getting a gold medal. Visiting the Hall of Fame and going into the Hall of Fame.
As the Olympic torch neared Lake Placid, N.Y., in 1980, signaling the opening of that year's Winter Olympics, newspapers and magazines throughout the world offered predictions on who would win medals in the major sports. Not a single publication gave the American men's hockey team a chance against the world powers.
The torch relay is an excellent embodiment of all that the Olympic Games have come to symbolise - a celebration of the human spirit. Personally to me, it represents striving to be the best in whatever we do, never giving up despite the odds, and a commitment to health and fitness.
I've been training super hard at the Lopez Taekwondo Academy in Houston, which belongs to my brother Jean. For me, I think confidence is the biggest thing; it's all mental. I train with the best of the best, including my brother Steven, a five-time world champion who won Olympic gold medals.
The Marianne Vos Route goes through the seven villages of Aalburg, where I grew up, and celebrates my World and Olympic titles with a number of benches along the route, where you can stop and rest your legs. You'll see the white windmill in Meeuwen and, in Babylonienbroek, a statue of the silver bike I rode to celebrate my Olympic track win.
I think a four-year ban would effectively rule out one Olympic games - a life ban is too harsh. I think everyone deserves a second chance. If you come back from missing one Olympic games and serving a four-year ban, you are a pretty determined and reformed character.
You can't be a creative thinker if you're not stimulating your mind, just as you can't be an Olympic athlete if you don't train regularly.
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
Nagpur to Kanyakumari and Kashmir, future Olympic medallists can come from anywhere. It is the passion that drives you, not the city, provided you get enough facilities.
P. V. Sindhu
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For most Olympic athletes, their training is their hardest challenge and where they push themselves to the limit. For Paralympians, training and competition is an escape from the hardships and struggles of their everyday life. That is the difference.
In college, I was an education major and qualified for several jobs. But the fame that came with the Olympic medals was too threatening to many people.
The Olympic Games must not be an end in itself, they must be a means of creating a vast programme of physical education and sports competitions for all young people.
I wanted to be the best street fighter in Houston, Texas. And I thought if I got a trophy or two, I'd go back home, and everyone would be afraid of me. I had one fight in '67, the first one. In '68 of October, I was an Olympic gold-medalist, a dream come true, with a total of 25 boxing matches.
We live in a world where sports have the potential to bridge the gap between racism, sexism and discrimination. The 2012 Olympic Games was a great start but hopefully what these games taught us is that if women are given an opportunity on an equal playing field the possibilities for women are endless.
I ran the effort to bring the 2012 Olympic Games to New York City. We lost - on a global scale. To my surprise, life went on, and I learnt that nobody cares about your failures as much as you do.
Daniel L. Doctoroff
I watched my idol and fellow Dutchman Tiesto. He was the first DJ to play live on stage at an Olympic event - the Opening Ceremony of the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens. At eight years old, all I can remember thinking was, 'I want to be a DJ.'
I was discovered by Paul Marciano of Guess when I was actually, like, two years old. And so I started with Baby Guess; I did Guess Kids, and then I stopped because I was a really competitive horseback rider and a club volleyball player. I went to Junior Olympic qualifiers for volleyball. So, I kind of stopped modeling.
Do I feel any pressure as the most decorated Winter Olympian in American history? None at all. The only pressures that I know I face are those of how to pay it forward: How can I continually make a positive impact in people's lives, help others achieve their dreams, create their own Olympic mindset, creating champions within themselves?
All the guys called the Olympic Village a high-class Boy Scout camp.
Obviously, when you're up against somebody you don't like there's extra motivation, but I don't think any person going for an Olympic gold is going to put friendship first.
If the Olympic Games ever served a true altruistic purpose, they have long since outlived it. Yeah, the pursuit of athletic excellence, sportsmanship and international goodwill is plenty noble. But the modern Olympics are at best a vehicle for agitprop; at worst, a scandal magnet.
My only real claim to fame is that I was southern England show-jumping champion in 1966. The day after my father died, 'Horse & Hound' magazine tipped me as a future Olympic champion, and I took it seriously. You can only really enjoy something if you take it seriously.
Most coaches would consider leading a team to an Olympic gold medal a capper for a pretty good year. The same goes for winning an NCAA national championship. Or a FIBA world championship. Mike Krzyzewski, head coach of the Duke Blue Devils and Team USA, led teams to each of these honors... within about 24 months.
I always thought, it would be neat to make the Olympic team.
If there's any indirect way I can motivate or inspire Olympic athletes... that is one of the greatest honors. Even Natalie Coughlin saying that I inspired her. I'm so humbled by that. I think that's amazing.
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