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Jackie Joyner-Kersee Quotes

Jacqueline Joyner

Jackie Joyner-Kersee quotes: insight from the track and field legend.

“It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.”

“Don’t follow in any footprints, make your own prints.  Because, you are the future of tomorrow.”

“Even though you map out a course, you may have to take left and right turns.  That doesn’t mean you have failed.  You have to be persistent and keep going.”

“A journey doesn’t end tomorrow.  Some people’s journey may take two days and some others may take eight years.  You need patience and understanding and to believe in the course you are taking.”

“People should surround themselves with people who have similar goals and who believe in what they believe in.  Even if their goal is different, their struggles and need for encouragement are similar.  What you get out of the struggle is that you never gave up.  Believe in it… and don’t question the work you have to do; results speak for themselves.”

“The glory of sport comes from dedication, determination and desire.  Achieving success and personal glory in athletics has less to do with wins and losses than it does with learning how to prepare yourself so that at the end of the day, whether on the track or in the office, you know that there was nothing more you could have done to reach your ultimate goal.”

“The only person who can stop you from reaching your goals is you.”

“For me it’s the challenge – the challenge to try to beat myself or do better than I did in the past.  I try to keep in mind not what I have accomplished but what I have to try to accomplish in the future.”

“I think it’s the mark of a great player to be confident in tough situations.”

“I stayed strong because I didn’t mind being different.  Sometimes different is popular and sometimes it isn’t.  I also knew what I wanted to do.”

“I didn’t like not winning, but I learned how to be a winner.  That came through my failures – if I could call them that.  I wasn’t the best all the time, but wanted to become the best.  Every time I lost, it made me more determined to come back because I was never satisfied.  I always felt if I was out there I had to be a student, willing to learn and willing to listen.”

“I maintained my edge by always being a student; you will always have something new to learn.”

“Even if the person doesn’t know what the internet can do, we can bring it to them and show how it can make a difference in their lives.”

“Society always needs a level playing field.  In order to do that, you have to have opportunity, and providing that opportunity begins with ‘how do we bridge that gap?'”

“I learned to listen and listen very well.  It helped me athletically and in the classroom as well.  The person who talks a lot or talks over people misses out because they weren’t listening.”

“If I stop to kick every barking dog, I am not going to get where I’m going.”

“I’m always challenged by someone.”

“There is something about seeing myself improve that motivates and excites me.”

“I have this burning desire to get out there and do my best.  It’s as if I’m keeping it all in a little bottle, and it’s all going to come out when I do the best I’m capable of doing.”

“Your environment doesn’t define you.  I don’t have a lot of money, but I can help train people and I can talk to people.  We can all be mentors to the next generation.”

“There are many women who came before me who didn’t really have the same opportunities that I have had.  That’s why I always wanted to be a great ambassador – not only today’s generation – but for the women who really didn’t have a voice, but who paved the way for me.”

“My passion for giving is no different than yours.  I give because it’s in my heart to give.  I give because I was taught to give at a very early age.  This is how I developed my passion for giving.”

“Getting started as a volunteer anywhere can be a challenge to a lot of people.  The biggest hurdle is that people think they have to give all of their spare time.  But if you only have a half hour, you can still make a difference.  Assisting with small tasks is invaluable.”

“It’s important to me to try and expose young people to the things they believe are off-limits to them.  I tell them, ‘There are no walls, only the ones we put up.’  My advice to young people looking at my life is not to follow my footprint but to go out there and make their own.”

“Once I leave this earth, I know I’ve done something that will continue to help others.”

“Give back in some way.  Always be thoughtful of others.”

“I’m a realist and I always have been.  Quality training is what I do now; before it was a combination of both quality and quantity.  Now I’m not trying to be a world-class athlete, I don’t need to train at that level.  It’s about being fit – fit for life.”

Age is no barrier.  It’s a limitation you put on your mind.”

“I don’t think being an athlete is unfeminine.  I think of it as a kind of grace.”

“Girls playing sports is not about winning gold medals.  It’s about self-esteem, learning to compete and learning how hard you have to work in order to achieve your goals.”

“Believing in themselves, self-esteem, not in an arrogant way, but knowing they can achieve anything – young people need encouragement on a daily basis.”

“Pride is a powerful word.  Pride in school, in who you are, the way you look, sound and who you surround yourself with.”

“Teaching kids about health and fitness is important to me.  It’s about being fit for life.”

“As you grow older and young people come up to you with their history books, you realize that some of the things I have been able to do have been impactful.”

“If a young female sees my dreams and goals come true, they will realize their dreams and goals might also come true.”

“I gave my all to the sport.  Now I’m trying to help a younger generation, to help a sport that has given me so much.”

“My grandma named me after Jacqueline Kennedy, hoping that someday I’d be the first lady of something.”

“The greatest finish line for me was finishing college – it was a pact I made with my mother, during a time when she fell ill.  That happened during my freshman year, and unfortunately she never saw me compete in the Olympics.  But she really wanted me to finish college, because she never finished Junior High.”

“People might be doubtful of my generation, but I can’t do anything about that.  I know what I gave, how hard I worked.  All you can do is move forward.”

“The medals don’t mean anything and the glory doesn’t last.  It’s all about your happiness.  The rewards are going to come, but my happiness is just loving the sport and having fun performing.”

“All I ever wanted really, and continue to want out of life, is to give 100% to whatever I’m doing and to be committed to whatever I’m doing and then let the results speak for themselves.  Also to never take myself or people for granted and always be thankful and grateful to the people who helped me.”

“A successful life is being happy on the inside; having an inner peace.  Success is being able to have independence knowing you have laid a foundation.  You also have the issue and responsibility of living up to it.  Happiness for me comes from helping others and yet you also have to help yourself.  I’ve always worked from the standpoint of having a disadvantage, in order to beat others or myself.  People considered me the best, yet I was never the best in my eyes.  Knowing you will never get to the point of being satisfied, even in yourself, means your work is never done.”

“Results are yesterday.  Today you should go at your goals with the same energy, tenacity, and thought pattern.  That is easy to say and difficult to do.  Know your journey, the course you have to take and what you have to do.”

Related: Usain Bolt quotes.

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