After 339 events in 33 sports and more than 11,000 athletes getting their shot at glory over the course of 17 days, there was plenty to be said about the accomplishments during the Olympics.
Here are the memorable quotes from the Tokyo Games:
“Walking away here without a medal wasn’t even a reality for this team. It would be kind of like (gymnast) Simone Biles not making the cut in all-around. I don’t know what else to say besides pissed.”
— Brady Ellison after U.S. men’s archery loss in team quarterfinals
“I wouldn’t be here without her,. She set this amazing standard for middle-distance racing, and if I didn’t have someone like her to chase, I definitely wouldn’t be swimming the way I am. So I’m really grateful to have her and now it’s good to have someone that I can race all the time and just have fun out there. Being in the battle is the best thing.”
— Australian swimmer Ariarne Titmus after beating Katie Ledecky in the women’s 400 free
“I can finish the match, but I can die. If I die, who will take responsibility?”
— Russian tennis player Daniil Medvedev on Tokyo heat and humidity
“I get my proof-of-life videos every morning.”
— U.S. soccer player Crystal Dunn on her chickens at home
“Excuse my French but the fact that we don’t celebrate silver and bronze is bull(blank).”
— U.S. swimmer Lilly King
“For me it’s pretty hard to breathe in after kind of sacrificing my body in the water, so I feel like my health is a little more tied to being able to breathe than protecting what’s coming out of my mouth.”
— U.S. swimmer Michael Andrew on not wearing a mask in the mixed zone
“I just try to be calm. I always say to myself, the worst that’s going to happen is you’re going to lose the thing. You could lose the Olympics for your country! That’s how I look at it. Just try to go up there, do my routine and be confident.”
— U.S. women’s soccer player Megan Rapinoe after converting on penalty kick vs. Netherlands
“MyKayla wanted french fries the whole time she was here. Simone (Biles) ordered french fries and had them waiting for her when she got home,” after winning vault silver medal.” — Lisa Spini, coach of U.S. gymnast MyKayla Skinner
“That was my version of trying to be a hero.”
— U.S. middle distance runner Isaiah Jewett on helping Botswana’s Nigel Amos get up and finishing together after their 800-meter track crash
“In the track, we are opponents, but still supporting each other. We want to win, we want to beat each other — but still, we know how hard it is to do this sport, how many sacrifices you have to do.”
— Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi on mutual decision to share men’s high jump gold medal with Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim
“It just sucks that, you know, if I was on the track side of the sport, I’d be the Usain Bolt of long jump. But just being on the field-event side, it just doesn’t get that attention that it deserves.”
— U.S. long jumper Brittney Reese
“I took a shower, listened to some music, called home, talked to my husband, had a little dance party.’’
— U.S. surfer Carissa Moore between the semifinals and finals, when she won the gold medal.
“The ref will call you to the center of the ring and you’ll touch gloves, and usually I have to touch gloves above my head, now it’s definitely an experience.’’
— Richard Torrez Jr., undersized American super heavyweight boxer
“I just remember thinking it would be kind of silly if I stood out there with a black mask and I asked them if they had an extra (pink) one, and they go, ‘Oh, no.’ “
— U.S. fencer Alen Hadzic, under investigation for sexual misconduct, on three of his teammates wearing pink masks in apparent protest of Hazdic being on the U.S. Olympic team
“I just googled Canada’s most decorated Olympian and my name came up. I want to thank that teacher in high school who told me to stop swimming to focus on school because swimming wouldn’t get me anywhere. This is what dreams are made of.”
— Canadian swimmer Penny Oleksiak
“I told her you may feel like yesterday was one of the worst days of your life, but today can be the best. Yesterday is over, let’s go get it.”
— Coach/father Brian Carey to U.S. gymnast Jade Carey, who recovered from her trip in the vault finals to win gold on floor exercise
“There’s a lot of relief. I don’t really know how I’m feeling. Right now, I just feel I have to go home and work on myself and be OK with what’s happened. I kind of got to process that while I’ve been here. I just feel like support of the girls and everybody out there meant the world to me.”
— U.S. gymnast Simone Biles
“There’s a lot of joy that can be had in the struggle, too, and trying to figure it out and it not always going well and who are you in that moment … this is always a revealing process and one that I really enjoy and love.”
— U.S. soccer forward Megan Rapinoe
“I think people maybe feel bad for me that I’m not winning everything, but I want people to be more concerned about other things going on in the world where people are truly suffering.”
— U.S. swimmer Katie Ledecky
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“This is not easy, not an easy week at all. Some parts were extremely enjoyable. I would say the majority of them were not. You can’t sleep right, you can’t nap, shaking all the time. I probably lost 10 pounds. I’m going to weigh myself and eat some food when I get back. It’s a lot of stress we put on the body.”
— U.S. swimmer Caeleb Dressel
“I can be honest and say this is the most responsibility I’ve ever felt. I felt it every day for several years so I’m feeling pretty light now and looking forward to getting back to the hotel and having…something.”
— U.S. men’s basketball coach Gregg Popovich
“It’s an amazing feeling, man. I’ve got a gold medal. My mother has a gold medal. … You can’t really explain it. Just knowing you’re the best in the world, amazing, man.”
— U.S. men’s basketball post JaVale McGee, half of the first mother-son gold medal duo in U.S. Olympic history
— U.S. sprinter Ronnie Baker when asked about how much practice time the men’s 4×100 relay team had before its first race, where it finished sixth and failed to advance to the final.
“I would say this was probably the best race ever, in Olympic history.”
— U.S. hurdler Rai Benjamin, speaking about the men’s 400-meter hurdles final. Benjamin finished second to Norway’s Karsten Warholm in the race, and both men broke the previous world record.
“After the second hurdle, I was like ‘(expletive).’ “
— Kyron McMaster of the British Virgin Islands, who finished fourth in the above 400-meter hurdles final, when asked if there was a point in the race when he knew it would be historically fast.
“When she lost the match, she felt very, very sad. So maybe this proposal will change the mentality of the situation.”
— Argentinian fencing coach Lucas Saucedo on his decision to propose to María Belén Pérez Maurice after she lost her opening bout.
“No! Do you know who that girl is?”
—U.S. swimmer Erica Sullivan, when asked if she ever thought she could catch Katie Ledecky in the women’s 1500-meter final. Ledecky won gold, Sullivan silver.
“My goal today was just to go in and for people to think who the hell is this girl?”
— U.S. marathoner Molly Seidel after winning a bronze medal
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