by Emil Zatopek
"Great is the
victory, but the friendship of all is greater."
- "To boast
of a performance which I cannot beat is merely stupid vanity.
And if I can beat it that means there is nothing special about
it. What has passed is already finished with. What I find
more interesting is what is still to come."
- "When a person
trains once, nothing happens. When a person forces himself
to do a thing a hundred or a thousand times, then he certainly
has developed in more ways than physical. Is it raining? That
doesn't matter. Am I tired? That doesn't matter, either. Then
willpower will be no problem."
- "We forget
our bodies to the benefit of mechanical leisure. We act continuously
with our brain, but we no longer use our bodies, our limbs.
It is the Africans who possess this vitality, this muscular
youth, this thirst for physical action which we are lacking.
We have a magnificent motor at our disposal, but we no longer
know how to use it."
- "There is
a great advantage in training under unfavorable conditions.
It is better to train under bad conditions, for the difference
is then a tremendous relief in a race."
- Emil Zatopek
- "What has
passed is already finished with.
What I find more interesting is what is still to come."
- Emil Zatopek
"We are different, in essence, from other men. If you
want to win something, run 100 meters. If you want to experience
something, run a marathon."
"If you want to win a race try the 100 meter. If you
want to win an experience try the marathon."
"If you want to run, run a mile. If you want to experience
a different life, run a marathon."
Emil Zatopek (See Running
- "A runner
must run with dreams in his heart, not money in his pocket."
- "You can't
climb up to the second floor without a ladder....When you
set your aim too high and don't fulfill it, then your enthusiasm
turns to bitterness. Try for a goal that's reasonable, and
then gradually raise it."
- "It's at
the borders of pain and suffering that the men are separated
from the boys."
- "After all
those dark days of the war, the bombing, the killing, the
starvation, the revival of the Olympics was as if the sun
had come out....I went into the Olympic Village and suddenly
there were no more frontiers, no more barriers. Just the people
meeting together. It was wonderfully warm. Men and women who
had just lost five years of life were back again."
Emil Zatopek, about the 1948 London Olympics
- "Men, today
we die a little."
Emil Zatopek at the start of the Olympic Marathon
- "I was unable
to walk for a whole week after that, so much did the race
take out of me. But it was the most pleasant exhaustion I
have ever known."
Emil Zatopek describes his marathon win at the Helsinki Olympics
- "If you come
to think of it, you never see deer, dogs and rabbits worrying
about their menus and yet they run much faster than humans."
- When asked about
his tortured expression during races, Emil Zatopek said, "It
is not gymnastics or ice skating you know."
- "When I was
young, I was too slow. I thought I must learn to run fast
by practicing to run fast, so I ran 100 meters fast 20 times.
Then I came back, slow,slow,slow. People said, 'Emil, you
are crazy. You are training like a sprinter.'"
- Emil Zatopek
Daily: How do you compare the modern runner with yourself?
should I practice running slow? I already know how
to run slow. I want to learn to run fast. Everyone
said, 'Emil, you are a fool!' But when I first won
the European Championship, they said: 'Emil, you
are a genius!'"
Emil Zatopek on Interval Training
Emil Zatopek: The athlete of today is not an athlete
alone. He's the center of a team--doctors, scientists, coaches,
agents and so on. My running was very simple; it was out of
myself. Perhaps sometimes I was like a mad dog. It didn't matter
about style or what it looked like to others; there were records
to break. Two months before the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki,
the doctors said I must not compete. I had a gland infection
in my neck. Well I didn't listen and what happened? Three golds.
The sportsman, the real sportsman, knows what is inside him.
Haile Gebrselassie impresses me very much. He seems to run from
one can stick to the training throughout the many long years, then
will power is no longer a problem. It's raining? That doesn't matter.
I am tired? That's besides the point. It's simply that I just have
does everything wrong but win."
Larry Snyder, Ohio State track coach, about Emil Zatopek's contorted
style of running