With the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games underway, we can’t help but find inspiration in the amazing feats and accomplishments of the athletes involved. Where Jones International University strives to meet the gold standard in education, we aren’t that different from the hundreds of athletes striving to find a “gold standard” in their respective Olympic sport. While we, as students and educators, study and train our minds for years to become experts in our respective academic fields; Olympic athletes put in similar minutes, hours, and years to become the best at their respective sport. And though academic goals and physical goals can feel like polar opposites, they require the same dedication, drive and will for success.
We’ve been reading interviews from the athletes and competitors in this Olympic Games and those of games past and can’t help but feel that the athletes’ words of wisdom apply to us, the University as a whole, and also to each one of our JIU students. Here are a few of our favorite inspirational quotes from Olympians.
“Each of us has a fire in our hearts for something. It’s our goal in life to find it and keep it lit.” -- Mary Lou Retton, winner of gold medal at 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympic Games
“We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.”
–Jesse Owens, USA track and field gold medalist
“Never put an age limit on your dreams,” -- Dara Torres, U.S. gold medalist in swimming
"When anyone tells me I can't do anything, I'm just not listening anymore."-- Florence Griffith Joyner, gold medalist in athletics in 1988 and silver medalist in 1988 and 1984
“There’s always a point where you get knocked down. But I draw on what I’ve learned on the track: If you work hard, things will work out.” -- Lolo Jones, Olympic hurdler
“Passion is a huge prerequisite to winning. It makes you willing to jump through hoops, go through all the ups and downs and everything in between to reach your goal.”
–Kerri Walsh, beach volleyball Olympic gold medalist
“Nothing can substitute for just plain hard work. I had to put in the time to get back.
And it was a grind. It meant training and sweating every day. But I was completely committed
to working out to prove to myself that I still could do it.”
–Andre Agassi, USA gold medalist in tennis
So on the days when you feel like you need a little boost, think back to these Olympic greats and their words of wisdom. They just might give you the extra something you need to go for the gold, whatever your goal.