"I think goals should never be easy, they should force you to work, even if they are uncomfortable at the time." - Michael Phelps

Do not be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone.

Aug. 21, 2004 - Michael Phelps wins eighth medal at Summer Olympics in Greece

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Michael Phelps left Athens with six gold and two bronze medals. His eight total medals tied him with Soviet gymnast Alexander Dityatin for the most medals ever won by a competitor at a single Olympic Games.

Since then, Phelps has become the most decorated athlete in Olympic history. In Beijing in 2008, he broke Mark Spitz's record by winning eight gold medals. After his performance in London in 2012, he now has 22 medals, including 18 gold medals.

"The ballplayer who loses his head, who can’t keep his cool, is worse than no ballplayer at all." - Lou Gehrig

Be a consummate professional. Keep your cool.

Aug. 19, 1995 - Mike Tyson returns to ring after two years in prison, KOs Peter McNeeley in just 89s

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The match marked the return of Mike Tyson to professional boxing after over four years away due to his 1991 arrest and subsequent conviction for rape in 1992 which led to Tyson serving three years in prison.

The fight lasted only 89 seconds with Tyson earning an easy victory via disqualification. Peter McNeeley started the fight by aggressively attacking Tyson as soon as the opening bell rang. Tyson was able to avoid McNeeley’s wild punches and land a right hook that dropped McNeeley to the canvas less than 10 seconds into the fight. After taking referee Mills Lane’s standing eight count, McNeeley was allowed to continue and again would continue his aggressive assault on Tyson. The two men would exchange punches in the corner as the first minute of the round passed. Less than 20 seconds later, Tyson would land a right uppercut that again sent McNeeley down. With McNeeley clearly hurt from the exchange, his manager Vinnie Vecchione entered the ring to prevent McNeeley from taking any more damage, causing referee Mills Lane to end the fight and award Tyson the victory by disqualification.

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Aug. 17, 1938 - Henry Armstrong is the first boxer to hold titles in three weight classes at the same time

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A world boxing champion, Henry Armstrong is universally regarded as one of the greatest fighters of all time by many boxing critics and fellow professionals. In 2007, The Ring ranked Armstrong as the second-greatest fighter of the last 80 years. Bert Sugar also ranked Armstrong as the second-greatest fighter of all time.

He was a boxer who not only was a member of the exclusive group of fighters that have won boxing championships in three or more different divisions (at a time when there were only 8 universally recognized World Titles), but also has the distinction of being the only boxer to hold three world championships (lightweight, welterweight and featherweight) at the same time. He also defended the Welterweight Championship more times than any other fighter.

"If somebody says no to you, or if you get cut, Michael Jordan was cut his first year, but he came back and he was the best ever. That is what you have to have. The attitude that I’m going to show everybody, I’m going to work hard to get better and better." - Magic Johnson

Happy 55th, Magic.

Hard Work. Dedication.

Aug. 14, 1987 - Mark McGwire sets MLB rookie record with his 39th HR

Mark McGwire's two-run home run in the sixth inning landed in the left-field seats and gave the 23-year-old first baseman sole possession of the mark previously held by Wally Berger of the Boston Braves in 1930 and Frank Robinson of the Cincinnati Reds in 1956. McGwire completed his rookie year with 49 home runs.

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"My biggest adjustment has been learning not to be afraid to fail." - Johnny Damon

Failure is the path to success.

Aug. 13, 1999 - Steffi Graf retired from tennis at age 30

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Steffi Graf retired while ranked World No. 3. She said, “I have done everything I wanted to do in tennis. I feel I have nothing left to accomplish. The weeks following Wimbledon [in 1999] weren’t easy for me. I was not having fun anymore. After Wimbledon, for the first time in my career, I didn’t feel like going to a tournament. My motivation wasn’t what it was in the past.” In December 1999, Graf was named the greatest female tennis player of the 20th century by a panel of experts assembled by the Associated Press. She was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 2004.

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"Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein." - Joe Theismann

Pure genius.

Aug. 12, 1974 - Nolan Ryan of the Angels struck out 19 Red Sox

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That year Nolan Ryan twice struck out 19 batters, tying Tom Seaver and Steve Carlton for the single-game record for a nine-inning game. Roger Clemens would become the first pitcher with a 20-strikeout game in 1986.

"I really felt everything was going right tonight," Ryan said. "I think I got better as the game went on. I don’t think I thought about the record until about the eight or ninth inning.”

"If my mother put on a helmet and shoulder pads and a uniform that wasn’t the same as the one I was wearing, I’d run over her if she was in my way. And I love my mother." - Bo Jackson

Bo knows.

"If you don’t want to be the best, then there’s no reason going out and trying to accomplish anything." - Joe Montana

Aim for the top!

Aug. 10, 1934 - Babe Ruth announced his retirement

"I’m definitely through as a regular player at the end of this season." - Babe Ruth

In 1934, Ruth had his last complete season. By this time, years of high living were starting to catch up with him. His conditioning had deteriorated to the point that he could no longer field or run. Nonetheless, he could still handle a bat, recording a .288 batting average with 22 home runs. On September 30, 1934, in what turned out to be his last game at Yankee Stadium, Ruth went 0 for 3 in front of only about 2,500 fans. By this time, he had reached a personal milestone of 708 home runs and was ready to retire. Sure enough, his career as a New York Yankee was over. Ruth did play part of the 1935 season with the Boston Braves.

"Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy." - Wayne Gretzky

Action is the cure.

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