"A muscle is like a car. If you want it to run better in the morning, you have to warm it up." - Florence Griffith Joyner

Stretch it out.

Sept. 26, 1988 - Ben Johnson tested positive for steroids and stripped of his 100-meter gold medal

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On September 24, 1988, Johnson won the 100m final at the Summer Olympics in Seoul, lowering his own world record to 9.79 seconds. Johnson would later remark that he would have been even faster had he not raised his hand in the air just before he finished the race. However, Johnson’s urine samples were found to contain stanozolol, and he was disqualified two days later. He later admitted having used steroids when he ran his 1987 world record, which caused the IAAF to rescind that record as well. Johnson and coach Charlie Francis complained that they used doping in order to remain on an equal footing with the other top athletes on drugs they had to compete against.

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"Dr. King was in my mind and heart when I raised my fist on that podium." - John Carlos

If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.

"Pressure is nothing more than the shadow of great opportunity." - Michael Johnson

Seize the opportunity.

Aug. 26, 1999 - Michael Johnson sets 400m World Record with 43.18 seconds

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Michael Johnson breaks Butch Reynolds' 11 year standing 400m world record of 43.29 by running 43.18 at the 1999 Seville World Champs which still stands as the world record today.

Johnson formerly held the world and Olympic record in the 200 m, and the world record in the indoor 400 m. He also currently holds the world’s best time at the 300 m. His 200 m time of 19.32 at the 1996 Summer Olympics stood as the record for over 12 years. Johnson is generally considered one of the greatest long sprinters in the history of track and field. Johnson’s stiff upright running stance and very short steps defied the conventional wisdom that a high knee lift was essential for maximum speed.

"I know what I can do so it doesn’t bother me what other people think or their opinion on the situation." - Usain Bolt

Believe in yourself.

Aug. 16, 2008 - Usain Bolt ran the 100 meters in a world-record 9.69 seconds

In the Olympic 100 m final, Usain Bolt broke new ground, winning in 9.69 s (unofficially 9.683 s) with a reaction time of 0.165 s. This was an improvement upon his own world record, and he was well ahead of second-place finisher Richard Thompson, who finished in 9.89 s. Not only was the record set without a favourable wind (+0.0 m/s), but he also visibly slowed down to celebrate before he finished and his shoelace was untied.

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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. 4, 1936 - Jesse Owens wins gold in the long jump at Olympics in Berlin

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It was the second of four gold medals Jesse Owens won in Berlin, as he firmly dispelled German Fuhrer Adolf Hitler’s notion of the superiority of an Aryan “master race,” for all the world to see.

110,000 spectators watched Owens slam the door on Hitler’s racist theories. In the morning, after fouling on his first two qualifying jumps, Owens finally leaped his way into the final, where he met the young German Lutz Long. Long tied the heavily favored Owens on his second jump, but Owens answered the challenge with a mark of 26’ 5 ½”, the first jump over 26 feet in Olympic history, and an Olympic record that would stand for 24 years. As Owens and Lutz walked arm in arm around the track, the German crowd roared its approval. Hitler promptly left the stadium, missing the medal ceremony.

(via athleticpoetics)

Aug. 1, 1996 - Michael Johnson won the gold medal for running the 200 m in 19.32 s

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Michael Johnson ran 19.66 seconds in the 200 m at the U.S. Olympic Trials, breaking Pietro Mennea’s record of 19.72 seconds, which had stood for 17 years. With that performance he qualified to run at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and prepared to attempt to win both the 200 meters and 400 meters events, a feat never before achieved by a male athlete.

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"I am a big believer in visualization. I run through my races mentally so that I feel even more prepared." - Allyson Felix

Mental preparation.

July 27, 1996 - Donovan Bailey sets world record for the Men’s 100 Meters with a time of 9.84

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The previous record was 9.85 held by Leroy Burrell of the United States. Donovan Bailey’s time of 9.84 in Atlanta was the 100 m world record from 1996 until 1999, when it was broken by Greene. The time also stood as the Commonwealth record from 1996 until 2005, when it was broken by Asafa Powell, and is the current Canadian record (shared with Bruny Surin since 1999). His Olympic record was broken by Usain Bolt at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

"People always say I’m a legend, but I’m not. Not until I’ve defended my Olympic titles. That’s when I’ve decided I’ll be a legend." - Usain Bolt

Legendary status.

May 31, 2008 - Usain Bolt established a 100 m world record with 9.72 s at the Reebok Grand Prix

Pushed on by a tail wind of 1.7 m/s, Usain Bolt ran 9.72 s at the Reebok Grand Prix held in the Icahn Stadium in New York City, breaking Asafa Powell’s record of 9.74 s. The record time was even more remarkable in light of the fact that it was only his fifth senior run over the distance. Tyson Gay again finished second and said of Bolt “It looked like his knees were going past my face”. Commentators noted that Bolt appeared to have gained a psychological advantage over fellow  contender Gay.

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"If you don’t have confidence, you’ll always find a way not to win." - Carl Lewis

Confidence is key and keys open doors.

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