Spoken like a true champion

Reuters

, Last Updated: 1:36 PM ET

Athletes sometimes offer but bland statements to the media. Every once in a while, though, somebody serves up a nugget. Here are some of the best quotes from this decade.

OLYMPICS

"All these people who crucify me on TV are the same people who wanted to be photographed with me after every success. But after crucifixion comes resurrection." Greek sprinter Costas Kenteris before he withdrew from the 2004 Athens Games after missing a drugs test.

"He may be human but he's from a different planet; a different galaxy." Russian swimmer Alexander Sukhorukov describes racing against Michael Phelps at the 2008 Beijing Games.

"I'm Lightning Bolt. I'm not Flash Gordon or anybody. My name is Lightning Bolt." Usain Bolt clarifies after setting a second world record at the 2008 Beijing Games.

"What I find really terrible is to organise this kind of manhunt on one person, where one is being hunted like Osama bin Laden." Austrian skier Hermann Maier on the hunt for biathlon coach Walter Mayer, who fled the 2006 Turin Winter Games after doping raids on the team.

SOCCER

"Boys, even if it means dying on the pitch, we must win this semifinal," Marc-Vivien Foe to his Cameroon teammates at halftime in a Confederations Cup match against Colombia. Thirty minutes later the midfielder collapsed without warning and he died soon afterwards.

"I'm sure sex wouldn't be as rewarding as winning the World Cup. It's not that sex isn't good but the World Cup is every four years and sex is not." Brazilian striker Ronaldo after scoring the two goals which gave his country a record fifth World Cup in Japan.

"This game is not mathematics. It is football and football plus two rarely equals five. Sometimes it's three. Often it's four." Trinidad and Tobago coach Leo Beenhakker.

CRICKET

"For Muslims there is Mecca and for cricketers there is Lord's." Bangladesh spinner Enamul Haque on his team's international debut at Lord's against England.

NFL

"He's like a mad scientist with some of these guys. Most coaches will correct mistakes after they see the film of the game. Hell, he corrects mistakes on the field right away." Gene Upshaw, head of the NFL Players Association, on coach Bill Belichick after the New England Patriots win their third Super Bowl in four years.

MOTOR RACING

"His is a car that goes like a Ferrari and is built like a tractor. It just never breaks down." David Coulthard eulogises Michael Schumacher's Formula One car.

TENNIS

"I threw the kitchen sink at him but he went to the bathroom and came back with his tub." Andy Roddick after losing to Roger Federer in the 2004 Wimbledon final.

GOLF

"These days, you play the golf course and you play Tiger. You can beat the field but it doesn't mean you're going to beat Tiger." South African Ernie Els on Tiger Woods.

"After much soul searching, I have decided to take an indefinite break from professional golf. I need to focus my attention on being a better husband, father and person." Woods's statement on his personal website after admitting he had been unfaithful to his wife.


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