U.S. Olympians Describe What Inspires Them To Compete

U.S. Olympians Describe What Inspires Them To Compete

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Kevin Durant (Basketball)

Kevin Durant (Basketball)

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“I’ve got 5 mil on Team U.S.A.”

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Colin Duffy (Sport Climbing)

Colin Duffy (Sport Climbing)

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“They said I could have a Sprite afterwards.”

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Katie Ledecky (Swimming)

Katie Ledecky (Swimming)

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“As a lifeguard, I let six people drown on a single weekend, so winning five gold medals in swimming is my way of proving I can save people in time if the water park gives me another chance.”

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Vincent Hancock (Shooting)

Vincent Hancock (Shooting)

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“I like the Olympics because it gives athletes who suck at regular sports a chance at a normal life.”

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Carissa Moore (Surfing)

Carissa Moore (Surfing)

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“The first time I tried surfing, I knew it would be part of my life forever as soon as I couldn’t get the wetsuit off.”

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Alex Morgan (Soccer)

Alex Morgan (Soccer)

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“Knowing that with hard work, dedication, and a whole lot of faith, I might one day appear in a DiGiorno commercial where I knock a pizza into the oven with my head.”

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Mackenzie Brown (Archery)

Mackenzie Brown (Archery)

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“Swimming and gymnastics were taken when I went to sign up for the Olympics, so I’m doing this until a spot opens up.”

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Caeleb Dressel (Swimming)

Caeleb Dressel (Swimming)

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“People drop a lot of loose change in swimming pools. It’s a goldmine down there.”

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Cory Juneau (Skateboarding)

Cory Juneau (Skateboarding)

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“I hope to inspire all the young ones who think skateboarding is just a cool hobby to think bigger and set their goals higher. Like, what if we used two very small skateboards, one on each foot? Not like roller skates, don’t say I’m thinking of roller skates. I’m saying two skateboards with the width of a normal skateboard but the length is halved, and then you scoot around with one under each foot, but it’s not like roller skates.”

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Serena Williams (Tennis)

Serena Williams (Tennis)

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“The ball keeps coming back every time I hit it over the net. I don’t know where it goes or why it comes back, but it won’t stop. I keep hitting and hitting, and I just want it to go away and leave me alone!”

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Simone Biles (Gymnastics)

Simone Biles (Gymnastics)

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“I compete to raise awareness for my app, where users can take photos of cool bugs and share them with other bug-loving strangers.”

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Alexander Massialas (Fencing)

Alexander Massialas (Fencing)

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“I want to kill a guy with a sword, and fencing is the best way to legally do that.”

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Maggie Steffens, (Water Polo)

Maggie Steffens, (Water Polo)

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“If I don’t use my Y membership at least once a month, it feels like a waste.”

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Olympic Hurdle (Track And Field)

Olympic Hurdle (Track And Field)

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“The biggest thing that keeps me going is finally being able to snap someone’s ankle and end their dreams once and for all”

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Sandi Morris (Pole Vault)

Sandi Morris (Pole Vault)

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“One day, I want to pole vault my way up past the clouds and straight into Heaven, where I’ll compete with God.”

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Ariel Torres (Karate)

Ariel Torres (Karate)

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“I need a belt to keep my pants up, and I like the way the karate ones look.”

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David Boudia (Diving)

David Boudia (Diving)

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“Before I dive, I always tell myself, ‘This is the one, David. This is the one you dive too far and split your head open on the bottom of the pool.’ And I’ll be damned, I keep living through all of them.”

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Mykayla Skinner (Gymnastics)

Mykayla Skinner (Gymnastics)

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“Do you have any idea what they do to gymnasts who don’t compete?”

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Jessica Springsteen (Equestrian)

Jessica Springsteen (Equestrian)

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“Someone had to put the Springsteen name on the map.”

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Sue Bird (Basketball)

Sue Bird (Basketball)

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“I’ve never cracked 200 likes on an Instagram post, and I bet a gold medal would do it.”

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Perry Baker (Rugby)

Perry Baker (Rugby)

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“The U.S. isn’t known for rugby, and I’m determined to keep that tradition alive.”

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Christian Taylor (Track and Field)

Christian Taylor (Track and Field)

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“There’s something powerful about talking to someone and just knowing the whole time that you can jump over them if you wanted to.”

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Simone Manuel (Swimming)

Simone Manuel (Swimming)

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“Drinking as much water as I want from the pool is its own reward.”

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Nevin Harrison (Canoe Sprint)

Nevin Harrison (Canoe Sprint)

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“I want to someday be able to tell my grandkids, ‘Hey, the Olympics are a ruinous and depraved institution that tears apart the fabric of communities by displacing poor residents and uprooting their whole lives in order to build shoddy stadiums that become useless right after the Games end, and that didn’t bother me at all and I competed.’

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Kyle Snyder (Wrestling)

Kyle Snyder (Wrestling)

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“While the glory of representing your country on the world stage is great, I just do it for the love of inflicting debilitating head trauma on people.”

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Chloé Dygert (Cycling)

Chloé Dygert (Cycling)

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“I’m saving up for a bicycle bell shaped like a hamburger.”

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Megan Rapinoe (Soccer)

Megan Rapinoe (Soccer)

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“It becomes a lot harder to make friends as an adult, and playing soccer is a great way to meet new people.”

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Vashti Cunningham (High Jump)

Vashti Cunningham (High Jump)

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“I heard that an Olympic medal looks good on your resume.”

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