Two of the greats, Carl Lewis and Nadia Comaneci, changed the face of the summer Olympic games forever. Carl Lewis is noted as the sole athlete that helped track and field move from its original amateur status in the Olympic games to the professional status, as we know it today. As for Nadia Comaneci, being the first gymnast to score a perfect 10 ever in the history of the Olympic games has raised the bar for all gymnasts after her. Now retired from the Olympics both Carl Lewis and Nadia Comaneci are still very outspoken about their sport and help to promote it. Being Olympic stars and motivation speakers they have become very quotable. Here are eight of my most favourite quotes from each athlete:
Carl Lewis Carl Lewis was a dominant sprinter and long jumper who won 10 Olympic medals including 9 golds. In his career, which spanned from 1976 to 1996, Carl Lewis has 65 consecutive victories in the long jump, and this is one of the sport’s longest undefeated streaks. His lifetime accomplishments have led to numerous accolades, including being voted “Sportsman of the Century” by the International Olympic Committee and being named “Olympian of the Century” by the American sports magazine Sports Illustrated.
“By carrying the torch, you will be bridging cultural and social barriers, and all the boundaries that separate nation from nation,”
“I’m not going to wait for anything else for you all to do, not one thing more,”
“Life is about timing.”
“Scientists have proven that it’s impossible to long-jump 30 feet, but I don’t listen to that kind of talk. Thoughts like that have a way of sinking into your feet.”
“The trials on the road to world harmony are no greater than the courage of those who accept the challenge.”
“Unless you can consider some other measures to assure her cooperation, you’re going to be up against a wall,”
“When you’re a part of something that people want you in … that’s what makes it special.”
“My thoughts before a big race are usually pretty simple. I tell myself: “Get out of the blocks, run your race, stay relaxed. If you run your race, you’ll win… channel your energy. Focus.”
Nadia Comaneci Nadia Comaneci won a total of nine Olympic medals, five of them gold during her Olympic career in gymnastics. At 14 years of age Nadia Comaneci was the first gymnast ever to score a Perfect 10. By the time the 1976 Olympics in Montreal ended, Nadia Comaneci had earned seven perfect tens, three gold medals, one bronze, one silver and countless fans. She appeared on the covers of Time, Newsweek and Sports Illustrated, all in the same week, and then returned home to Romania. Four years later, at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, Comaneci earned two more gold medals and two silver. In 1996, Comaneci was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.
“Hard work has made it easy. That is my secret. That is why I win.”
“I believe that you should gravitate to people who are doing productive and positive things with their lives.”
“I don’t run away from a challenge because I am afraid. Instead, I run toward it because the only way to escape fear is to trample it beneath your feet.”
“I have had a few turning points, the first day I entered a gymnastics school at age 6.”
“I like to tell young people to work hard for your goals and live in the moment.”
“I worked hard in gymnastics since the time I was six years old until I retired at 23 years of age.”
“One of the most difficult times in my life was when I escaped from Romania in November of 1989.”
“You should also appreciate the goodness around you, and surround yourself with positive people.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David Leonhardt and Corey Rozon are Ottawa ghost writers. Carl Lewis, motivational speaker has performed many athlete endorsements.