quotes of the year

LONDON - The 2008 sporting year in quotes:

LONDON - The 2008 sporting year in quotes:


"With so many people saying it couldn't be done, all it takes is an imagination" - US swimmer Michael Phelps after winning an unprecedented eight gold medals at a single Games.

"He may be human but he's from a different planet. A different galaxy" - Russian swimmer Alexander Sukhorukov describes what it is like to race against Phelps.

"I'm Lightning Bolt. I'm not Flash Gordon or anybody. My name is Lightning Bolt" - Usain Bolt, after setting a world record in the 200 metres final, one of three records he set in Beijing.

"Now I have lots of work ahead as he is the country's most eligible bachelor" - Babli Bindra, after son Abhinav won the 10 metre air rifle to take India's first ever individual Olympic gold.

EURO 2008

"At last we've done it. I'm not sure we're yet conscious of what we've achieved. It's a huge feeling of happiness for all Spanish fans. They deserve it because we were all sick and tired of failing at the quarterfinals" - captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas celebrates Spain's victory in the final.

"I hope to be a big traitor tomorrow. When I'm a traitor, I like to be a very good traitor" - Russia coach Guus Hiddink vows to get the better of his native Netherlands in their quarterfinal, saying he will even hum the Russian national anthem. Russia won 3-1.

"This is a match that not only we will not forget but that will haunt us for the rest of our lives" - Croatia coach Slaven Bilic reflects on how his team went out to Turkey on penalties after the Turks scored an equaliser two minutes into stoppage time of extra time.

"Yesterday I said there was some hair on my pillow. Now I'm hoping my hair will grow back a bit" - Italy coach Roberto Donadoni after his team reached the quarterfinals by beating France.

"Wonders only happen every 30 years or so. If they happened every 14 days then they would not be wonders. 2004 was a wonder and it cannot happen every time" - Greece coach Otto Rehhagel is philosophical about the defending champions' group-stage exit.


"I've created a monster so I know I need to always win every tournament. It's not easy coming out every week trying to win" - Roger Federer after his Australian Open semifinal defeat in a year he lost his number one ranking to Rafael Nadal.

"Almost a perfect season, no?" - French Open and Wimbledon champion Nadal basks in his success.

"It's very pleasant to beat Maria... Why? Well, I don't like her outfit" - Alla Kudryavtseva explains what spurred her to a shock victory over Maria Sharapova in Wimbledon's second round.


"I know the media all love me. They must care about me because they're always asking me if I'm going to stay or go" - Avram Grant before Chelsea's Champions League final defeat by Manchester United that was his last game in charge.

"I'm not afraid of losing my crown. It would be worse if I continued leading the life I had before" - Diego Maradona, after being named Argentina coach.

"I couldn't have got any fatter, I was running out of clothes" - Brazilian striker Ronaldo bemoans his battle with the bulge after spending most of the year injured.


"I'm glad I'm done. I really don't feel like playing any more. It's a bit sore. I'm going to shut it down for a little bit here and see what happens" - world number one Tiger Woods after winning the US Open in June, having defied a torn knee ligament and a double stress fracture of his left tibia.

"I've achieved so much more than I thought I could and I'm ready to move on. The motivation was not there any more" - ten-time major winner Annika Sorenstam of Sweden announces her decision in May to quit competitive golf at the end of the year.


"I was shouting: 'Do I have it, do I have it?' And then they came on when I was at turn one and they told me and I was ecstatic. It's been a dream" - Lewis Hamilton on crossing the Brazilian Grand Prix finish line as F1 world champion.

"I've been doing it for 45 years, I've been extremely careful, I've never got caught" - FIA president Max Mosley speaking about sadomasochism and the sex scandal that hung over the early part of the season.


"I truly believe that the reason I made the awful mistake and a few thereafter was because I didn't love myself enough to tell the truth" - disgraced US sprinter Marion Jones cries during an interview with talk show host Oprah Winfrey after serving six months in prison for lying about doping.

"I stood at the top of the mountain and heard the cheers from the people. In jail my status is gone. I am just as human as everyone else" - former US Olympic champion Tim Montgomery, once Jones' boyfriend, who was jailed for cheque fraud and on heroin charges in two separate trials this year.


"It has been a fantastic journey. There have been ups and downs in the process of success. It has taken me 19 years to get the record" - India's Sachin Tendulkar celebrates setting the world record for the most Test runs.

"Lawson is a useless man. But there is no use in removing him now and we will allow him to complete his contract which will not be renewed" - Pakistan board chairman Ejaz Butt, days before Geoff Lawson was sacked as national coach in October.


"I wrap nappies filled with my three-year-old son Max's wee around my fists. Baby wee is good because it's pure, doesn't contain toxins and doesn't smell" - Vitali Klitschko reveals how he stops his fists swelling.

"Sometimes the red mist sets in and I put my foot on the gas but Rome wasn't built in a day" - British light-welterweight world champion Ricky Hatton wins the mixed metaphor of the year title. - Reuters