Inspiring quotes from the athletes behind the top sports stories of 2019

Agence France-Presse

From US World Cup champion footballer Megan Rapinoe to veteran golf star Tiger Woods, here are their thoughts on their accomplishment this year

Agence France-Presse |

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This year has given us many incredible moments in the world of sport. From breaking the unbreakable marathon record to triumphing in the longest final match in Wimbledon’s history, here are some of the biggest sporting achievements of the year, and some inspiring messages from the athletes who made them.


“We have so many problems in our country, but a team like this – we come from different backgrounds, different races, but we came together with one goal and we wanted to achieve it.”

– Siya Kolisi, the Springboks’ first black Test captain after South Africa’s victory at the World Cup in Japan.

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“I think I’m particularly, uniquely and very deeply American.”

– Megan Rapinoe, the US’ World Cup-winning superstar, after US President Donald Trump accused her of being unpatriotic in a spat about whether or not the team would be hosted by the White House.

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge, the marathon world record holder ran a marathon distance run in under two hours, a world first.
Photo: Reuters


“The message that no human is limited is now in everybody’s mind”

– Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge celebrates making history by smashing the legendary two-hour barrier in the marathon, on a crisp autumn morning in Vienna.

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“It’s team, team, team, get up, see the doctor, have breakfast, ride the race, get a massage, physio and sleep. Then repeat.”

– Egan Bernal paints a mundane picture of life as Colombia’s first Tour de France champion.


“These kind of matches, you work for, you live for ... they give sense and they give value to every minute you spend on the court training and working to get yourself in this position and play the match with one of your greatest rivals of all time.”

– Novak Djokovic, after defeating Roger Federer for his fifth Wimbledon title in the longest final in the tournament’s history.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia dethroned Roger Federer of Switzerland in the longest final game of Wimbledon history.
Photo: Xinhua


“It’s overwhelming just because of what has transpired. I could barely walk. Couldn’t sleep. Couldn’t walk. Couldn’t do anything. To have the opportunity to come back, it’s one of the biggest wins I’ve ever had for sure.”

– Tiger Woods after making an epic career comeback, overcoming injuries and personal scandals to win the 83rd Masters, his 15th major title and first in 11 years.

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“Almost superhuman.”

– England cricket captain Eoin Morgan paying tribute to Ben Stokes after the all-rounder played a pivotal role in the Super Over World Cup final win over New Zealand.

American Football

“How could this not motivate you? It’s what it’s all about.”

– Tom Brady after writing his name in the record books by winning the Super Bowl for a sixth time. His New England Patriots side defeated the Los Angeles Rams in the annual tournament.

Edited by Charlotte Ames-Ettridge