National Sports Day: 15 inspirational quotes from the greatest sportspersons of all time

Sports not only build character but also serve as great teachers and motivators. On National Sports Day, we bring you some inspirational quotes from the world’s greatest sportspersons.

If you follow sports, this week’s events wouldn’t have escaped you.

First, badminton star PV Sindhu made history by becoming the first Indian to win gold at the BWF World Championships. Second, England cricketer Ben Stokes played an otherworldly knock to hand his team an unforeseen victory in the second Ashes test. 

Both events took place on the same day. And, both signalled the resurgence of two sporting icons who have overcome several setbacks to give their countries moments of undisputed glory. 

Sindhu, of course, broke her three-year dry run at tournament knockouts, and finally grabbed gold. Stokes, just a year after being the “main aggressor” at a pub brawl, with uncertainties looming large over his career, has already won England a World Cup and a historic test match this year. 

Therein lies the essence of sport. 

It mirrors life, they say. Its trials and tribulations, joys and sorrows, hopes and losses… are all reminiscent of what life takes us through. Sport builds and reveals character of humans. It also serves as a great teacher, mentor, and motivator. 

On National Sports Day, which marks the birth anniversary of legendary Indian hockey player Dhyan Chand, YourStory lists 15 inspirational quotes by some of the greatest sportspersons of all time.

“I don’t count my sit-ups. I only start counting once it starts hurting.”

–  Muhammad Ali

“Gold medals aren’t really made of gold. They’re made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.” – Dan Gable 

“In baseball and in business, there are three types of people. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen, and those who wonder what happened.”

Tommy Lasorda

“A champion is someone who gets up when he can’t.”

Jack Dempsey

“I don’t like to lose — at anything… Yet I’ve grown most not from victories, but setbacks. If winning is God’s reward, then losing is how he teaches us.” – Serena Williams 

“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”

Tim Notke

“Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.”

Dean Karnazes

“I’m a dreamer. I have to dream and reach for the stars, and if I miss a star then I grab a handful of clouds.” – Mike Tyson

“Never buy gold, simply earn it.”

Mary Kom

“You are never really playing an opponent. You are playing yourself, your own highest standards, and when you reach your limits, that is real joy.”

– Arthur Ashe

“Your love makes me strong, your hate makes me unstoppable.” – Cristiano Ronaldo

(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)


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