Running Quotes from Jesse Owens

Get Motivated with These Quotes

Jesse Owens
Jesse Owens won four gold medals for track and field events in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Hulton Archive/Getty Images

American track and field athlete Jesse Owens gained international fame when he won four gold medals in the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany. Here are some quotes from running legend Jesse Owens:

  • "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."
     
  • "I always loved running...it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs."
     
  • "One chance is all you need."
     
  • "The battles that count aren't the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself -- the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us -- that's where it's at."
     
  • "If you don't try to win, you might as well hold the Olympics in somebody's backyard."
     
  • "Friendships born on the field of athletic strife are the real gold of competition. Awards become corroded, friends gather no dust."
     
  • "I wanted no part of politics. And I wasn't in Berlin to compete against any one athlete. The purpose of the Olympics, anyway, was to do your best. As I'd learned long ago from Charles Riley, the only victory that counts is the one over yourself."
     
  • "There is something in the Olympics, indefinable, springing from the soul that must be preserved."
     
  • "Life doesn't give you all the practice races you need."
     
  • "One day or another every athlete feels like taking it easy. He stops trying to exceed his limits, and thinks he can keep winning because of his lucky star, or the bad luck of his opponents. You must overcome this negative instinct, which affects all of us, and which is the only difference between the person who wins a race, and those who lose. This is the battle you have to fight every day of your life."
     
  • "For a time, at least, I was the most famous person in the world."
     
  • "I let my feet spend as little time on the ground as possible. From the air, fast down, and from the ground, fast up."
     
  • "A lifetime of training for just ten seconds."
     
  • "People come out to see you perform and you've got to give them the best you have within you."
     
  • Find the good. It's all around you. Find it, showcase it, and you'll start believing in it."
     
  • "Although I wasn't invited to shake hands with Hitler, I wasn't invited to the White House to shake hands with the President either."
     
  • "To me, we must learn to spell the word RESPECT. We must respect the rights and properties of our fellowman. And then learn to play the game of life, as well as the game of athletics, according to the rules of society. If you can take that and put it into practice in the community in which you live, then, to me you have won the greatest championship."
     
  • "The only bond worth anything between human beings is their humanness."
     
  • "I let my feet spend as little time on the ground as possible. From the air, fast down, and from the ground, fast up."
     

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