THEY SAID IT,
BEST OLYMPIC QUOTES,
FROM OPENING TO CLOSING.
BEST QUOTES OF THE GAMES
Compiled by Elliott Denman
From Opening Ceremonies to Closing, Olympians and those who’d done all the
work giving them the opportunity to be Olympians, spewed out the contents of their hearts and of their souls, telling their stories of success and success’s opposites.
They divulged their emotions as they felt it at the moments of greatest drama, letting the rest of the world know just how they felt about the goings-on at the critical stages of the events they’d just experienced.
And here’s a compilation of some of those best quotes uttered at the assorted venues of the Olympic city:
Thomas Bach (IOC President) at Opening Ceremonies: “You have transformed this beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro into a modern metropolis and made it even more beautiful. Your passion for sport and love of life inspires us. In thIs Olympic world we see that the values of our shared humanity are stronger than the forces which want to divide us.”
Carlos Arthur Nuzman (President, Rio 2016 Organizing Committee) at Opening Ceremonies: “I’m talking to the whole planet, five continents, five billion people. I’m the proudest man alive. I’m proud of my city, my country. Let’s celebrate together. Our dream is this Olympic City transformed by the Games, hosting the world and celebrating humanity. Let’s live our dream together, and stay together when differences challenge us.”
Usain Bolt (Jamaica) 100, 200, 4×100 Triple Gold third consecutive Games: “There you go, I am the greatest, to be among Muhammad Ali (boxing) and Pele (socccer.) I hope after these Games I will be in that bracket.
” I am just relieved it’s happened. I am just happy, proud of myself. It’s come true. The pressure is real. I look at it as an accomplishment.”
Elaine Thompson (Jamaica) 100-Meter Gold: “When I crossed the line and glanced across to see that I was clear, I didn’t know how to celebrate.”
Shelly -Ann Fraser-Pryce (Jamaica) 100 Meters Bronze (after winning in 2008 and 2012): “What I’m most happy about is that the 100-meter title is staying in Jamaica (with Elaine Thompson). I’m proud of Jamaica. Just look at my hair (colored Jamaica yellow and green.)
Carmelo Anthony (USA Basketball) Gold: We love it (here.) Brazil knows how to party.”
Omar McLeod (Jamaica) 110 High Hurdles Gold: “Now (after winning and abandoning his diet) I’m going to eat as much ice cream and cake as I can.”
Sandra Perkovic (Croatia) Discus Gold: :”Yes there was rain (during qualifying) and today it’s sunny. So I think at the victory ceremony it will be snowing, so I get all four seasons.”
David Rudisha (Kenya) 800 Meters Gold: “It is the greatest moment of my career. I dedicated this title to God.”
Jose Vitor De Oliveira (Brazil) 110 High Hurdler (known for diving over finish lines). “:I always do that. It is not an accident. I started doing it a long time ago. If I am in a fight, I will always put myself first.. I did it at China at the (2015) World Championshps and I broke my ribs. People tell me not to do it, but I will (continue to) do it, It comes from the heart. Certainly here. I am in my home Olympics.”
Mo Farah (Great Britain 5,000-10,000 Double Gold: “I just want to go home now and see my beautiful kids, and hang my medals around their necks. I have a medal now for each of (our) kids.) It’s definitely the best thing ever.”
Caster Semenya (South Africa) 800-Meter Gold: “It is all about loving one another; it is not about discriminating against people. It is not looking at how people look, how they speak, how they run. It is not about being muscular. When you walk out of your apartment you think about performing. You don’t think about what your opponent looks like.”
Francine Niyonsaba (Burundi) 800-Meter Silver: “I made history for Burundi. It is not a medal
for me, it is a medal for my country.”
Matej Toth (Slovakia) 50-Kilometer Racewalk Gold: ”It’s something unbelievable to me, something like immortality in sport. I’m so proud, I’m so happy. I’m so looking forward to singing the Slovakian anthem (at medal ceremony.) I can’t wait for this.”
Chris Brown (Bahamas) 4×400 Bronze: “This definitely is my last Olympics (at age 37.) I know every book comes to an end and I think this is a way to take my book to its end, with a bronze.”
Nick Willis (New Zealand) 1500 Meters Bronze: On top rival Asbel Kiprop: “The thing that is most consistent about Kiprop is his inconsistency.”
Matthew Centrowitz (USA) 1500 Meters Gold: “Well, I had about five different strategies planned out in my head in how the race could unfold. So I was prepared for any kind of race, a fast one, a slow one.
On Sebastian Coe’s podium message: “He came up to me and said ‘welcome to the club.’ ”
Allyson Felix (USA): 400 Meters Silver, 4×400 Gold: “You guys (media) like all those sort of numbers and stats, but honestly I don’t go into competitions thinking about those sort of things at all. But (after four Games and
most decorated woman status), ‘I still want to do this, I still have a passion and a desire to be on the track.”
Julius Yego (Kenya) Javelin Silver: “A country like Germany has a history in javelin. I expected that (Thomas) Rohler would win, he has been throwing really well…but maybe the world is changing.”
Ruth Beitia (Spain) High Jump Gold: “At 37 years of age, this is the climax of my career; as I said before, the completion of a dream.”
Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya) Marathon Gold: “Kenyans will be very happy. This is history, the first time (our) men and women win and it is the best moment of my life.”
Galen Rupp (USA) Marathon Bronze: “Maybe this (the marathon) is my best event.”
Yonas Kinde (Refugee Olympic Team): Marathon 90th Place: “We are equal now. We compete like a human being, like the others.”
Andre DeGrasse (Canada) Triple Medalist, 100, 200, 4×100: “I don’t think there’s going to be
another Usain Bolt, but I could say from now there will be an Andre DeGrasse. It sucks to see him (Bolt) on his way out. I love competing against him. He’s a great athlete, he’s probably going to go down as one of the greatest athletes of all time.”
Justin Gatlin (USA) 100 Meters Silver, 4×100 DQ: “I never said this was my last Olympics; This Olympics has made me hungry for the World Championships next year in London. I’m 34, you guys thought I couldn’t run this fast at 34. At 35 I’m going to be even faster.
‘Everyone’s cheering for Usain Bolt, but if it’s me they have someone to boo against.”
As to the relay DQ: “It was the twilight zone, it was a nightmare. You work so hard with your teammates, guys you compete against all year long, then all that hard work just crumbles.”
Tyson Gay (USA) 4×100: “It (being DQd) has to be the worst luck for this country ever. It’s always something weird, stupid. Simple mistakes always cost us. Hell, we already did the victory lap and then when we talked to TV, they told us we’d been DQd.”
Aska Cambrdge (Japan) 4×100 Silver: (Born in Jamaica) I was brought up in Japan, I trained in Japan. So I’m really proud to be on the team for Japan. They call me ‘the Japanese Bolt.’ But I need to be quicker to be a Bolt.”
Alistair Bownlee Great Britain): Triathlon Gold: ‘I think under it all we (Team GB) are a sports-mad nation.”
Jonathan Brownlee (Great Britain) Triathlon Silver: “We (he and Alistair) can’t help being brothers, that’s our parents’ fault. But the trust we have wins races.”
Maria Guadalupe Gonzalez (Mexico) 20K Racewalk Silver (by two seconds): “Next time I will have to race harder.”
Will Claye (USA) Triple Jump Silver: “That felt amazing, man. We all get knocked down. We all go through storms, but if you take it though that storm, good things like this happen.”
‘We (he and gold medalist Christian Taylor) will dominate (the event, for USA) as long as we want to. We’ve been blessed with this talent and we’re still young.”
Christoph Harting Germany) before start of discus throw; ‘This is my stage and my stadium and nobody is going to take this victory away from me.” (Nobody did; he won with 68.37 throw.)
Later, why he couldn’t stand still on the podium? “Probably (because) I am a person that needs rhythm, that loves good music, and it is difficult to dance to the (German) national anthem.”
Thomas Bach (IOC president) at Closing Ceremonies: “The Brazilians were great hosts and united behind these Games. With the joy of life of the Brazilians, they turned this into a great party for everybody. We arrived in Brazil as guests. Today we depart as your friends. You will have a place in our hearts forever.
”Bye-bye Rio. Adeus e obrigado.”
Carlos Arthur Nuzman (President Rio 2016 Organizing Committee) before Olympic flame
is extinguished: “I am happiest man alive. It was seven years of struggle and work but it was worth it,”