Inspiring words from the Great One himself. Recently, Gretzky’s words and calm demeanour were credited with helping his son in law, 2016 US Open Champion Dustin Johnson, overcome some major mental hurdles which had, to that point, kept him without a major title to his name.
Canadian athletes and athletes in general seem to have a knack for using their words to inspire other athletes, amateur and professional alike to greatness. Whether you’re in the spotlight on a national stage or striving to top your personal best, sometimes it helps to head the words of those who have dedicated their entire lives to the world of sport. So next time you lace ‘em up and prepare to be you’re very best, take a moment to check out these motivational quotes from 20 of Canada’s greatest athletes.
Steve Nash – 2 time NBA MVP, 8 time all star:
People have always doubted whether I was good enough to play this game at this level. I thought I was, and I thought I could be. What other people thought was really always irrelevant to me.
Jesse Lumsden – Olympic Silver Medalist, CFL Player:
Understanding there will be hard times, times you may want to quit, times when negative people may rear their heads and share those insignificant opinions. Understanding it is all part of the journey to reaching your goal. Have a good support system, trust me, it goes a long way. Never lose sight of what you are trying to accomplish. You will need to make sacrifices and learn to weigh your options.
Christine Sinclair – Olympic Bronze Medalist:
Yeah. It’s one of those things; I’m never satisfied. I’m not satisfied with a bronze medal. We’re hoping we can win this World Cup
Tory Nyhaug – Canadian Olympian in BMX, Pan Am Gold Medalist:
I’d rather live my life and do what I love and experience it. If I have some issues when I’m older, I mean, that’s the cost of living a fantastic life.
Curtis Joseph – NHL Goalie:
No matter how many years you play, it’s always something new and exciting. It’s sports, you never know what may happen.
Daniel Nestor – Olympic Gold Medalist, Professional Tennis Player:
It’s a lot of hard work, competing and not giving up. I think you get more appreciated the older you get.
Jonathan Toews – 3 time Stanley Cup Champion, 2 time Olympic Gold Medalist:
You become what you think about and focus on the most. See yourself attracting the things you want to accomplish. Thoughts and desires in your mind can become a reality.
Dwayne De Rosario – MLS Player, Canadian National Soccer Team Member:
Every guy on this team is a star, and they prove themselves day in and day out. Guys come here because they love to play. I know whoever Dom brings in here, they’re going to fit our team. Not every guy fits. We only choose the ones that do.
Catriona Le May Doan – 2 time Olympic Gold Medalist, 5 time World Champion:
I encourage everybody and challenge everybody to strive towards their goals…. There will be ups and there will be downs, but just keep working towards them and don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do it.
Hayley Wickenheiser – 4 time Olympic Gold Medalist, 7 time World Champion:
Many times I had to dig deep and perform. All of that adversity helped me and drove me to want to be the best.
Kyle Shewfelt – Olympic Gold Medalist:
I was so focused and so driven, there was this fire inside of me that was burning so brightly.
Clara Hughes – Gold Medalist, Medaled in both Summer and Winter Olympics:
If you dream and you allow yourself to dream you can do anything.
Donovan bailey – 2 time Olympic gold medalist, 3 time World Champion:
Follow your passion, be prepared to work hard and sacrifice, and, above all, don’t let anyone limit your dreams.
Ian Miller – Olympic Silver Medalist:
If you persevere long enough, if you do the right things long enough, the right things will happen.
Manon Rheaume – 2 world Championships, 1st Woman to Play in the NHL:
It’s never been easy. But I’ve always wanted to play hockey. I love hockey. I’d rather play hockey than do anything else. If you have that kind of desire, I think you can achieve what you want to achieve.
Patrick Chan – 2 time Olympic Silver Medalist:
Although it’s hard some days to wake up an hour earlier to do the gym workout as opposed to other skaters who just show up to the rink, I know that if I don’t do it, my day will be much worse. I might as well not even skate, actually.
Silken Laumann – 3 time Olympic Medalist:
It’s important to know that at the end of the day it’s not the medals you remember. What you remember is the process — what you learn about yourself by challenging yourself, the experiences you share with other people, the honesty the training demands – those are things nobody can take away from you whether you finish twelfth or you’re an Olympic Champion.
Nancy Greene – Olympic Gold Medalist, Canadian Senator:
I think what it takes to succeed remains the same. You have to have a real love of your sport to carry you through all the bad times, you still want to go ski even when things aren’t working. You must have a commitment to work hard and to never give up.
Mark de Jonge – Olympic Bronze Medalist in Canoe, Pan Am Gold Medalist:
A lot of things are out of my control, and that’s all the other athletes. I can be the best I can ever be, and if there’s someone better, they’ll win the race. I’m aware of that.
Bobby Orr – 2 time Stanley Cup Champion:
You don’t win by being good. You win with hard work and sacrifice. Without that, skill is just potential.
As a quick bonus quote, how can we talk about inspirational Canadian athletes without including a quote from the one and only…
Terry Fox: “I just wish people would realize that anything’s possible if you try; dreams are made possible if you try.”
So get inspired! Get out there and put it all on the line…and believe to achieve!