"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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Sept. 24, 1988 - Jackie Joyner-Kersee set a world record of 7,291 points in the heptathlon at the Olympics in Seoul

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At the 1988 Games in Seoul, Jackie Joyner-Kersee set the still-standing heptathlon world record of 7,291 points. The silver and bronze medalists were Sabine John and Anke Vater-Behmer, both of whom were representing East Germany. Five days later, Joyner-Kersee won her second gold medal, leaping to an Olympic record of 7.40 m (24 ft 3 1⁄4 in) in the long jump.

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"In my mind, I’m always the best. If I walk out on the court and I think the next person is better, I’ve already lost." - Venus Williams

Believe in yourself.

"Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth." - Muhammad Ali

Don’t fall behind with your rent

Sept. 5, 1960 - Cassius Clay won gold medal at the Olympic Games in Rome, Italy

Before Muhammad Ali, there was an 18 year old named Cassius Clay (178 lbs) that entered the Light Heavyweight division of the 1960 Rome Olympics. Clay went 5-0 on his way to winning gold. He received a first round bye, and then went on to win his next fight due to a referee stoppage in the 2nd round. He would then finish off his last three fights with convincing unanimous decisions. The gold medal fight was against Poland’s Zbigniew Pietrzykowski, who was making a return trip to the Olympics after winning bronze in Melbourne 1956.

Aug. 30, 1991 - Mike Powell set the world record for long jump

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At the 1991 World Championships in Athletics (Tokyo), Mike Powell broke Bob Beamon's almost 23-year-old long jump world record by 5 cm (2 inches), leaping 8.95 m (29 ft 4¼ in). The world record still stands, making Powell the fourth person since 1900 to hold the record for over 20 years. His feat earned him the James E. Sullivan Award and BBC Sports Personality of the Year Overseas Personality Award in 1991. He also holds the longest non-legal jump of 8.99 m (29 ft 5¾ in) (wind-aided +4.4) set at high altitude in Sestriere, Italy in 1992.

"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 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.

"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. 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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