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- Essentially, we distinguish ourselves from the rest. If you want to win something, run the 100 meters. If you want to experience something, run a marathon.
- Attributed in "Making a run at the Olympic dream", an unsigned article from The StarPhoenix, 9 May 2007, at canada.com (CanWest MediaWorks Publications Inc.)
- I was not talented enough to run and smile at the same time.
- Attributed by Mike Rowbottom, "Olympic legend Zatopek dies aged 78", The Independent, 23 November 2000 (Independent Print Limited)
- It's at the borders of pain and suffering that the men are separated from the boys.
- Attributed in "Citius, Altius, Fortius" ("Swifter, Higher, Stronger"), an unsigned article from Khaleej Times, 8 August 2008 (Galadari Printing and Publishing Co.)
- It is not gymnastics or ice skating, you know.
- Attributed by Tom Knight, "Zatopek: 'human locomotive' who made Olympic history", Telegraph, 23 November 2000 (Telegraph Media Group)
- (regarding his lack of finesse)
- Are you running out of breath? Go faster! (Life credo)
- From original in Czech: Nemůžeš? Přidej! or ... když nemůžeš, tak přidej!