Words of wisdom from the greats of the Games

From Carl Lewis to PV Sindhu, here is a list of five of the most inspirational quotes by Olympic greats

By Saurabh Shankar ·

Apart from their mesmerising performances, the Olympic greats from around the world also serve as ideal role models and mentors for the masses.

Through their dedicated displays and occasional oratory genius, these athletes have managed to motivate the next generation of sports personalities.

From Sanya Richards-Ross to Carl Lewis, here’s a look at a few inspirational quotes for previous Olympians to motivate you on the weekend.

Carl Lewis

The nine-time Olympic gold medallist was athletics' superstar in the 1980s, winning big competitions throughout his career.

Although Lewis always focused on his training and technique as a sprinter, he was someone who believed that mental preparation was equally important to winning at the big stage.

"If you don’t have confidence, you’ll always find a way not to win."

It was this confidence that helped Lewis to become the first man to retain the Olympic 100m title, a feat only matched by Usain Bolt.

Lewis also won four consecutive Olympic long jump competitions, joining Al Oerter as the only athletes to win four Olympic gold medals in the same event.

Michael Phelps

The American swimmer is the greatest Olympian of all with a record 23 gold medals.

Reaching the top is one thing. Staying there is another.

And years of rigorous training and sacrifice helped Phelps achieve his status as the greatest swimmer of all time.

"If you want to be the best, you have to do things that others aren’t willing to do."

Phelps swam 80km a week during his peak training phases, and ate a whopping 12,000 calories a day.

Sanya Richards-Ross

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One of America’s most celebrated athletes, Sanya Richards-Ross well and truly give it her all in every race that she completed; and very famously said:

"Failure I can live with; not trying is what I can’t handle."

That undying commitment is what has helped her win four Olympic gold medals and dominate the 2012 London Olympics.

Gabby Douglas

Gabby Douglas won three Olympic gold medals in artistic gymnastics - two at London 2012 and one at Rio 2016.

That success was achieved after years of dedicated training even when the going was tough, as epitomised by this quote of hers.

"The hard days are the best because that’s where champions are made”

PV Sindhu

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India’s 2016 Olympic silver medallist has been a beacon of inspiration for the nation’s upcoming athletes.

Her humble persona, resilient gameplay and never-say-die attitude has made her a fan favourite among the Indian masses.

Apart from those attributes, Sindhu has become one of badminton's top players thanks to her hard work and commitment to the sport.

"The greatest asset is a strong mind. If I know someone is training harder than I am, I have no excuses."