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Sports are an incredible place to look to for inspiration. Whether we’re talking about football, basketball, or soccer, we know that each sport boasts a host of incredible athletes who passionately give their all to showcase their dedication and talent.

Sports’ history is filled with persuasive and motivational speeches, transformative actions, and breathtaking dives. There are probably hundreds, if not thousands of genuinely awe-inspiring moments in American sports history, such as when Jackie Joyner-Kersee won gold in the heptathlon and long jump in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, or when Michael Jordan secured the NBA Championships for the Chicago Bulls in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals.

With the countless moments to consider when discussing sports history, let’s take a moment to revisit some of sports’ most inspirational quotes:

  1. “Never give up, never give in, and when the upper hand is ours, may we have the ability to handle the win with the dignity that we absorbed the loss.” -Doug Williams
  2. “Age is no barrier. It’s a limitation you put on your mind.” -Jackie Joyner-Kersee
  3. “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” -Michael Jordan
  4. “There are only two options regarding commitment. You’re either IN, or you’re OUT. There is no such thing as life in-between.” -Pat Riley
  5. “Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside, and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.” -Lance Armstrong
  6. “Push yourself again and again. Don’t give an inch until the final buzzer sounds.” -Larry Bird
  7. “You find that you have peace of mind and can enjoy yourself, get more sleep, and rest when you know that it was a one hundred percent effort that you gave–win or lose.” -Gordie Howe
  8. “During my 18 years, I came to bat almost 10,000 times. I struck out about 1,700 times and walked maybe 1,800 times. You figure a ballplayer will average about 500 at-bats a season. That means I played seven years without ever hitting the ball.” -Mickey Mantle
  9. “Persistence can change failure into extraordinary achievement.” Matt Biondi

The brilliance of individual and team sports is that it provides clarity. While other dedicated interests may involve the use of your hands or head, sports asks that you use your whole person. Frequently, those involved with sports gain a better understanding of motivation and willfulness.

If you know any other powerful and inspirational sports quotes shared by athletes, please share!