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Famous swimming quotes

Swimming is a sport which almost all of us will have tried at some time or another. However, whether we've just been partial to a quick dip or swum for medals or even for survival, there are plenty of apt and inspiring words associated with the sport's watery world.

Inspiration and motivation

Motivational saying The key to being a successful swimmer is all in the mind, according to American Olympic gold medalist Lenny Krayzelburg: "Body does what mind prefers." For a lengthier exposition on what's key to inspiring top performance, we can turn to the legendary Australian multiple Olympic gold medallist Ian Thorpe: "For myself, losing is not coming second. It's getting out of the water knowing you could have done better. For myself, I have won every race I've been in." Susie Maroney swam from Mexico to Cuba, over 200 kilometres. Her coach summed her effort up with this profound life lesson: "Susie had no talent whatsoever. She's a little person who couldn't even make a final at a state meet - coming and showing the world that on sheer guts and determination you can do anything you want!"

Philiosophical

Swimming quotes Sometimes, it's wise to look for a more metaphorical or spiritual take on things. Here's one from American politician Paul Tsongas: "Breaststroke is an athletic event; butterfly is a political statement." Former US President Woodrow Wilson seemed to have the weight of the world on his shoulders when he said: "The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it."

Famous names have their say

Famous swimmers had much to say on the sport and the life lessons they have learned from competing and succeeding at the highest level. Ian Thorpe, again, sums up the mindset of a top swimmer with this nugget: "I am not going to allow myself not to perform well just because I don't feel well. I am bulletproof to the extent that a lot of things can be thrown at me, but it's about how much I am prepared to let them affect me." Legendary American Olympian Mark Spitz gave this clue to how he maintained focus: “I'm trying to do the best I can. I'm not concerned with tomorrow, but with what goes on today.” Spitz's successor to American swimming glory, Michael Phelps, give this insight, which superbly sums up his outlook, and what could perhaps be the philosophy of every top sportsman: “I want to be able to look back and say, 'I've done everything I can, and I was successful.' I don't want to look back and say I should have done this or that. I'd like to change things for the younger generation of swimmers coming along.”

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