Inspiration from Great Summer Olympians

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Ready for the Olympics? Before you get your popcorn and settle into the couch to watch the greatest athletes in the world compete, load up on some leadership advice from a few of the best Olympians to represent the United States.

All I ever wanted really, and continue to want out of life, is to give 100 percent to whatever I’m doing and to be committed to whatever I’m doing and then let the results speak for themselves. Also to never take myself or people for granted and always be thankful and grateful to the people who helped me.—Jackie Joyner-Kersee, won 3 gold, 1 silver, and 2 bronze medals in the 1984, 1988, and 1992 and 1996 Olympics

The only side effect of too much training is that you get into better shape. There is nothing wrong with that.—Mark Spitz, won 9 gold, 1 silver, and 1 bronze medal in the 1968 and 1972 Olympics

Winning is great, sure, but if you are really going to do something in life, the secret is learning how to lose. Nobody goes undefeated all the time. If you can pick up after a crushing defeat, and go on to win again, you are going to be a champion someday.—Wilma Rudolph, won 3 gold and 2 bronze medals in the 1956 and 1960 Olympics

We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.—Jesse Owens, won 4 gold medals in the 1936 Olympics

I think goals should never be easy, they should force you to work, even if they are uncomfortable at the time.—Michael Phelps, won 18 gold, 2 silver, and 2 bronze medals (so far) in the 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012 Olympics

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