Quotes

“That’s easy. I block out my parents all the time.”
Young American gymnastic sensation Simone Biles on being advised by a team-mate how to block out the crowd and therefore the pressure on her world championships debut. The 16-year-old went on to win four medals, two of them gold (October 4 2013)

“My husband said he’d fix my bike if I got through to the final.”
Britain’s Hannah England tells the BBC on getting through to the world championship 1500m final (August 11 2013)

“I’ve got a stress fracture in my hip but it’s on its way to getting better, but I’m really excited about today and the body’s feeling great.”
Australia’s Hayley Bateup prior to taking part in a gruelling Ironman race (June 13 2013)

“Disgusting that this decision has been made. It is a step back in the fight against drugs cheats in sports.”
British athlete Lee McConnell on the decision to let three members of the US 4x400m team from the Athens 2004 Olympic Games keep their gold medals despite one member of the team – Crystal Cox – admitting she was using performance-enhancing drugs at the time. The British team came fourth and were expecting to move up to bronze. Even more confusing is the IAAF’s decision to re-award Russia the gold (June 1 2013)

“Some of the first to help victims had just completed running for four hours and then turned around and triaged amputees. Others continued to run to the hospital to donate blood.”
Sir Richard Branson, whose Virgin Group sponsored the London Marathon, commenting on the overwhelming response by Boston marathon runners caught up in the bomb on Monday April 15 2013. Branson’s company donated £2 for every runner who finished the race, which took place six days after the atrocity, to the victims of the Boston Marathon (April 21 2013)

“It’s much better than washing up.”
The reason for 72-year-old Rusty’s first marathon, just prior to pounding the streets of the 2013 London event with 37,000 others (April 21 2013) 

“Maybe I’ll knock on the door and say happy birthday,” says Tatyana McFadden, the American winner of the 2013 London marathon wheelchair race who shared a birthday on the day of the race, with the Queen.
“Well her house is right there,” says presenter John Inverdale.
“Where?”
“The big house at the end,” says John, indicating the imposing Buckingham Palace at the race finish
(April 21 2013)

“Bowled him… bowled her.”
Sky Sports commentator at the Women’s World Cup during Super Six game between New Zealand and South Africa (February 11 2013)

“I think I’ll put a poster [up] of myself now.”
Teenager Sloane Stephens on replacing the poster on her bedroom wall of her idol Serena Williams after beating the multiple Grand Slam winner in the 2013 Australian Open semi final (January 26 2013)

“It’s Lucy Chaffer from Australia now. Lucy is 28-years-old and from Perth in Western Australia and is a school teacher. Again, you’ve got to think she’s someone who’s far too clever to be doing this for a living.”
So said a British Eurosport commentator about a Skeleton World Cup competitor. (December 7 2012)

“Shara’s mum Wilma and her sister Shenelle are sat just by us here in the stands and local TV commentators told them to be quiet when they were screaming at her equalling her British record of 6.86.”
Commentator Katherine Merry reveals the unbridled enthusiasm for Shara Proctor’s performance in the world indoor athletics from her family in the crowd as she sits in second long jump final with one jump remaining (March 11 2012)

“Can [Yana Maksimava] improve on that  14.28, Dean?”
“It looks like she can mate – a very easy question when you’ve just seen the result to be honest.”
Dean Macey to co-commentator Katherine Merry at the world indoor athletics championships (March 9 2012)

“My ribs got really weak and that’s why they popped, which was really painful. Having them manipulated back into place was even worse.”
Not only is 400m individual medley swimmer, Jo Jackson, going through the tortuous training required to get to the Olympics but she’s battling severe asthma problems, too (March 4 2012)

“I feel more comfortable in the water than out of it.”
Comments superfish Rebecca Adlington on her life as a swimmer. That’ll be why she’s a double Olympic gold medalist already, then, with hopefully more to come in London (March 2 2012)

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