"A champion is someone who does not settle for that day’s practice, that day’s competition, that day’s performance. They are always striving to be better. They don’t live in the past." - Briana Scurry

Strive for greatness.

Oct. 16, 1968 - U.S. Olympians Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their black-gloved fists

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U.S. Olympians Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their black-gloved fists in support of black power on the medals podium, after they had finished first and third in the 200 meters at the Summer Olympics in Mexico City.

As they turned to face their flags and hear the American national anthem (The Star-Spangled Banner), they each raised a black-gloved fist and kept them raised until the anthem had finished. Smith, Carlos and Australian silver medalist Peter Norman all wore human rights badges on their jackets. In his autobiography, Silent Gesture, Tommie Smith stated that the gesture was not a “Black Power” salute, but a “human rights salute”. The event is regarded as one of the most overtly political statements in the history of the modern Olympic Games.

"But at the end of the day, every star, every person that been iconic, has gone through a time in their lives where it was just bad. Everybody. It just made them better." - Dwight Howard

Let your tough times fuel your successes.

Oct. 9, 2000 - Brett Hull scored his 611th goal and passed his father Bobby Hull in all-time scoring

At 7:33 of the third period, Brett Hull one-timed a pass from Brendan Morrow into the net past Curtis Joseph, tying the hockey game and contributing to the Dallas Stars 3-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. The goal placed Brett in ninth place on the NHL’s all-time scoring list.

Toronto coach Pat Quinn, who once played against Bobby Hull, said the only similarity between the two is that they’re both blond. “Bobby was the dominant one. He was ‘Give me the puck and I’ll bull through everybody,’” Quinn said. “Brett has always gotten himself into a position where a good play maker could find him.” Brett himself describes his style as “stealth mode.”

"Spirituality is recognizing the divine light that is within us all. It doesn’t belong to any particular religion; it belongs to everyone." - Muhammad Ali

Spiritual awakening.

Aug. 11, 1984 - Carl Lewis won his fourth gold medal of the Summer Olympics

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Carl Lewis and his agent Joe Douglas frequently discussed his wish to match Jesse Owens’ feat of winning four gold medals at a single Olympic Games and to “cash in” afterward with the lucrative endorsement deals which surely would follow.

Lewis started his quest to match Owens with a convincing win in the 100m, running 9.99 s. In his next event, the long jump, Lewis won with relative ease. His third gold medal came in the 200 m, where he again won handily in a time of 19.80 s, a new Olympic record and the third fastest time in history. Finally, he won his fourth gold when the 4 × 100 m relay team he anchored finished in a time of 37.83 s, a new world record eclipsing the record he helped set the year before at the World Championships.

Aug. 2, 1992 - Jackie Joyner-Kersee is the first woman to win consecutive Olympic gold medals in the heptathlon

Two years after winning the 1987 world championships in the long jump and the heptathlon, Jackie Joyner-Kersee won gold in both events at the Seoul Olympics. Her 7,291 points set a new world record for the heptathlon and her jump of 24’3 ” was a new Olympic best.

Four years later, Joyner-Kersee entered the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona the heavy favorite to win heptathlon gold. Now a seasoned veteran of the circuit, she led the field for the entire event. On August 2, the second day of competition, Joyner-Kersee started the day with a long jump of 23’3 “, good for first place. Prior to her final jump, though, she was run into while sprinting next to her rival Sabine Braun of Germany. Braun had defeated an injured Joyner-Kersee at the 1991 world championships, and the bump was later deemed “psychological warfare” by Bob Kersee. It was no matter to Joyner-Kersee, though: She overcame a poor finish in the shot-put by finishing the 800 meters in a respectable 2:11, which gave her a total of 7,044 points and the gold medal. It was only the seventh time that a woman had scored 7,000 points in the heptathlon, and the sixth time Joyner-Kersee had broken the barrier.

July 29, 1996 - Carl Lewis, at age 35, won his fourth Olympic gold medal

By the time the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta rolled around, Carl Lewis was 35 years old. Though he was still admired around the world for his previous Olympic triumphs, he had barely managed to qualify for the U.S. team in the long jump and most experts believed he’d be lucky to medal, let alone win another gold. Going into the last of his three jumps, Lewis trailed Emmanuel Bangué of France and his leading jump of 26’ 10 ½” by two inches. Lewis took off cleanly after a smooth sprint and landed face down, but knowing instinctively that the jump had secured him first place, he quickly got to his feet and raised his arms in triumph. His mark of 27’ 10 ¾” was his longest in two years—a full foot ahead of Bangue—and good enough for his fourth consecutive gold in the long jump.

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"The hardest skill to acquire in this sport is the one where you compete all out, give it all you have, and you are still getting beat no matter what you do. When you have the killer instinct to fight through that, it is very special." - Eddie Reese

It’s going to take all you’ve got.

"Being healthy is a complete lifestyle for me. It allows my brain to function at a very high degree so I can comprehend all the new things that are thrown at me. It also allows me to sleep well so that I am rested when I need to perform. Finally, being healthy will hopefully allow me to live a long and fun-filled life." - Derrick Rose

Make healthy living your lifestyle.

July 7, 1985 - Boris Becker became the youngest player to win Wimbledon

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Boris Becker is a six-time Grand Slam singles champion, an Olympic gold medalist, and the youngest, the first unseeded and first German player to win the men’s singles title at Wimbledon at the age of 17. Becker also won five major indoor championships titles including three ATP Masters World Tour Finals (played eight finals, second all-time to Ivan Lendl, who played nine) and one WCT Finals and one Grand Slam Cup. He also won five Masters 1000 series titles and eight Championship Series titles. Tennis Magazine put Becker in 18th place on its list of the 40 greatest tennis players from 1965 to 2005.

July 1, 1980 - Steve Ovett of Britain set a world record in the mile in 3 minutes 48.8 seconds

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Getting ready for his upcoming Olympic showdown with Sebastian Coe, Steve Ovett takes down Coe’s World Record with a 3:48.8 clocking in Oslo, Norway. Coe had set a record of 3:48.95 the previous year - July 13th, 1979 - on the very same track. Finishing second to Ovett in this race was some 19 year old kid named Steve Cram, stopping the clock at 3:53.8.

Steve Ovette - World Record - 1 Mile Run, 1980:

"I’m not slowing down. I don’t care who’s in the hole. If they’re going to foul me, I’m going to get up and keep going hard at them." - Derrick Rose

"…Goin’ straight through the hole
You ain’t got no game
I’m breakin’ ya out the frame
Coming through like a train”
- B Real - Hit ‘em High (The Monstar’s anthem)

"When you face a crisis, you know who your true friends are." - Magic Johnson

Real talk.

June 26, 1991 - The Hornets selected Larry Johnson with the first overall pick of the NBA Draft

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The 1991 NBA Draft took place in in New York City, New York. Dikembe Mutombo is regarded as the best overall pick in this draft, becoming one of the greatest defensive centers in the history of the league. He was a four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year award winner and an eight-time All-Star, and played in the league for 18 seasons.

Larry Johnson won the 1992 NBA Rookie of the Year award and was a two-time All-Star, the first player to represent the Charlotte Hornets franchise at an All Star game. However, a trade to the New York Knicks caused his numbers to decline dramatically and ongoing back problems further decreased his effectiveness. Due to his chronic back problems, he retired in 2001.

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