- Anyone can fall into a workout rut from time to time, even athletes who have won Olympic gold.
- The key to success, whether it's winning gold or hitting the gym that day, is perseverance.
- Athletes like Michael Phelps and Simone Biles share their tips on what motivates them each day.
- Visit Insider's Health Reference library for more advice.
With the Winter Olympics in full swing, you may find yourself inspired, intimidated, or simply curious about how you can harness your own power.
Whether you're recovering from a rough loss on the field or looking for a motivational nudge to get you off the couch, these inspirational quotes from famous athletes will help you channel your inner courage.
1. "If you have big ears or trouble focusing, but you work harder than the guy in the lane next to you, you'll beat him." – Michael Phelps, Michael Phelps: Beneath the Surface
Diagnosed with ADHD at a young age, Michael Phelps had trouble focusing in school but that didn't stop him from putting the work into his swimming career eventually becoming the most decorated Olympian of all time, winning 28 medals for the United States.
Phelps also holds records for the most Olympic gold medals, the most Olympic gold medals in individual events, and the most Olympic medals in individual events.
2. "You pretend like today didn't exist and have a fresh race tomorrow…I have to continue to put my best foot forward." – Kaillie Humphries, Yahoo! News
Humpries is a Canadian-American bobsledder. She was the 2010 and 2014 Olympic champion in the two-woman bobsled, as well as a 2018 Olympic bronze medalist while representing Canada.
This quote showcases her humbleness despite her significant lead over the competition while heading into the second half of the inaugural women's monobob race in the 2022 Beijing Olympics. Humphries was representing the United States, just two months after becoming a citizen.
3. "My greatest skill was being teachable. I was like a sponge. Even if I thought my coaches were wrong, I tried to listen and learn something." – Michael Jordan, Michael Jordan: The Life
Michael Jordan is considered "the greatest basketball player of all time" by the NBA. Jordan established a long career in the sport, playing 15 seasons in the NBA and winning six championships with the Chicago Bulls.
In this quote, Jordan reflects on one of his greatest strengths as an athlete – learning from others.
4. "I've given it my all, there have been some ups and downs on the way to get here. And with that I feel I've got stronger and better." – Shaun White, AP News
Shaun White is a professional snowboarder, skateboarder, and five-time Olympian. After winning three Olympic gold medals in half-pipe snowboarding, the athlete reflected on how putting in the work and giving his best in each event allows him to walk away after a competition and feel proud, regardless of what medal he might win.
5. "You do not have to be the best player in the world to win. You only have to be better, on that day, than the person across from you." – Maria Sharapova, Unstoppable: My Life So Far
Maria Sharapova is a former world No. 1 tennis player hailing from Russia and residing in the United States since 1994. She is an Olympic medalist, having won a silver medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics, in addition to winning five Grand Slam Titles and 36 titles in total.
6. "It doesn't matter what people say about you or how people feel. You have to love yourself, and when you love yourself it will manifest in everything that you do." – Serena Williams, From a panel for her documentary "Serena"
Widely considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time, Serena Williams has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles and holds the most major titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles combined among active tennis players.
7. "A winner is that person who gets up one more time than she is knocked down." ― Mia Hamm, Go For the Goal: A Champion's Guide To Winning In Soccer And Life
Mia Hamm is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and two-time FIFA Women's World Cup champion hailing from the United States. Hamm played as a forward for the US women's national soccer team for 17 years, competing in four FIFA Women's World Cup tournaments.
8. "My work, my goal, my life, it's like a treadmill. And there's no stop-button on my treadmill. Once I get on, I just keep going." – Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Notable Biographies: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
Dwayne Johnson, known to many as "The Rock," is regarded as The People's Champion and one of the most iconic professional wrestlers of all time. After wrestling for WWE for eight years, he pursued a career in acting, with his films grossing $10.5 billion worldwide as of 2021.
9. "Today I will do what others won't, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can't." — Jerry Rice, Jerry Rice Official Website
Jerry Rice is a former wide receiver who played 21 seasons in the NFL for the 49ers, Raiders, Seahawks, and Broncos. Today, he is regarded as one of the greatest wide receivers and players in NFL history.
10. "If you think a thing is impossible, you'll only make it impossible." ― Bruce Lee, Tao of Jeet Kune Do
Bruce Lee was a Hong Kong and American martial artist, actor, and founder of Jeet Kune Do, a hybrid martial arts philosophy widely credited as paving the way for modern mixed martial arts (MMA).
11. "A lot of people say they want to be great, but they're not willing to make the sacrifices necessary to achieve greatness." ― Kobe Bryant, The Mamba Mentality: How I Play
Kobe Bryant was a celebrated American basketball player with a 20-year career with the Lakers in the NBA. Bryant is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, winning five NBA championships, in addition to being an 18-time All-Star.
12. "What you feel doesn't matter in the end; it's what you do that makes you brave." ― Andre Agassi, Open
Andre Agassi is a former world No. 1 tennis player, eight-time major champion, and Olympic gold medalist from the United States.
13. "There is true strength in being able to ask for help." ― Abby Wambach, Forward: A Memoir
Abby Wambach is a retired American soccer player, six-time winner of the US Soccer Athlete of the Year award, and member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame. Wambach is the highest all-time scorer for the US women's national team and has been listed as one of the most influential people in the world by Time Magazine.
14. "I learned to use my imagination to shape my reality and harness it to serve my needs. It was truly amazing what the mind could do when directed the right way." – Ibtihaj Muhammad, Proud: My Fight for an Unlikely American Dream
Ibtihaj Muhammad is a member of the United States fencing team, known for being the first Muslim American woman to wear a hijab while competing (and medaling) for the United States in the 2016 Olympics.
15. "You will not always be strong, but you can always be brave." – Simone Biles, Courage to Soar
Simone Biles is an accomplished artistic gymnast. Biles is tied as the most decorated gymnast of all time, with a combined 32 Olympic and World Championship medals. Biles's success story is inspiring, moving from the foster care system to winning gold after gold in the Olympics over a few short years.