Mary Lou Retton

Mary Lou

American Gymnast, Olympic Champion

Author Quotes

I like added pressure. It makes me work harder.

When athletes accept money, they place themselves under more pressure to perform.

I love her attitude, but as much as I'd like to bring my medals to a speech or appearance, I never do.

You give up your childhood. You miss proms and games and high-school events, and people say it's awful... I say it was a good trade. You miss something but I think I gained more than I lost.

I usually don't mind giving autographs, but when hundreds of folks with paper and pen start coming at you, it's time to seek shelter.

If I had a bad performance in a particular leotard, I threw it in the trash.

I'm very determined and stubborn. There's a desire in me that makes me want to do more and more, and to do it right. Each one of us has a fire in our heart for something. It's our goal in life to find it and to keep it lit.

In the dressing room, I always put on my right shoe first. Same thing for my right wristband.

It's going to be really weird when I'm 80 years old, in a walker, and people are still calling me America's sweetheart. We need a new one.

As for me, I'd love to be a cyclist.

Many athletes competing in Atlanta wouldn't be here if it weren't for corporate support.

Be cocky. Walk into the Georgia Dome like you own it.

Many medal winners dream of competing in a sport other than the one they're famous for.

Companies that support sports developmental programs in our communities should also be applauded.

More than 10,000 athletes came to Atlanta seeking Olympic medals. Only a few of them will be lucky and skilled enough to claim one.

For athletes, the Olympics are the ultimate test of their worth.

Optimism is a happiness magnet. If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you.

Former Olympians also get paid to make appearances. Many of them won their medals in an era when Olympic success didn't go hand-in-hand with financial success.

Pay-per-view would deprive many kids of the delight of seeing the Olympics.

Getting to know athletes from all over the planet is a big part of the Olympic experience.

That's because the International Olympic Committee has a policy of never replacing medals.

Having a home away from the media glare is important to world-class athletes.

The endorsement game has been very good to me.

I can't justify taking money away from hungry kids and needy schools to pay for the Games when corporations are willing to write the checks.

There can be distractions, but if you're isolated from the heart of the Games, the Olympics become just another competition.

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Mary Lou
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American Gymnast, Olympic Champion