Sports quotes of 2012

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Peter_Div Gallo Images The release of Peter de Villiers' book this year provided us with some more of the gems he was known for during his tenure at the helm of SA rugby.

Who said what in 2012 – a selection of the best sporting quotes of the year:

FOOTBALL

“(Tottenham manager) Harry (Redknapp) told me that United were champions and then I went into the dressing room and someone else told me City were champions.”

- Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson whose side were pipped for the Premier League title by Manchester City on goal difference.

“Miracles do happen in Manchester. Only this time it's on this side of the road.”

- Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini on his side's Premier League triumph.

Michael_Phelps Retired US swimmer Michael Phelps admits he used to pee in the pool. AFP

“This is such a truly wonderful moment. It's been four marvellous years.”

- Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas on a golden age for him and his team that saw them win Euro 2008, the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012.

“I can safely say the greatest character I have ever met is former Rangers winger wee Willie Johnston. I named a dog after him.”

- US actor and director Robert Duvall, famous for his roles in Apocalypse Now and The Godfather, talks about football during a visit to England to promote a new film.

GOLF

“If he could have headed it the other way, it would have been in the fairway.”

- Rory McIlroy during the second round of British Open at Royal Lytham after his wild drive at the 15th clobbered a young spectator on the head and bounced away into the rough.

“There isn't a low point in being a professional golfer. I mean, let's be realistic.”

- Ireland's three-time major winner Padraig Harrington on his 'slump' in form over the past couple of seasons.

“It wasn't really errant. I was trying to not hit the tree she was hiding behind, and I didn't.”

- US ski star Bode Miller on injuring his wife Morgan while they were playing golf.

TENNIS

“I always felt tennis was easier for me playing as world number one than actually getting there.”

- Swiss legend Roger Federer after reaching a combined total of 300 weeks as number one in October.

“There's not just tennis in my life. I like cooking, gardening, reading, decorating the house, putting up the Christmas tree and running.”

- Former world number one Kim Clijsters on her retirement.

“Today is one of the saddest days of my career, as it was one of my greatest hopes and perhaps the most special moment to be the flag-bearer for Spain in the opening ceremony of the games in London.”

- Rafael Nadal, the defending champion, on having to drop out of the London Olympics.

ATHLETICS

“It's what I came here to do. I'm now a legend, I'm the greatest athlete to live.”

- Jamaica's Usain Bolt after becoming the first man to retain the 100m and 200m titles.

“My mother used to tell us in the mornings, 'Carl put on your shoes, Oscar you put on your prosthetic legs ... So I grew up not really thinking I had a disability. I grew up thinking I had different shoes.”

- South Africa's Oscar Pistorius, nicknamed 'Blade Runner' because of the carbon fibre blades he runs on, on his and brother Carl's upbringing.

“It's never going to get better than this, this is the best moment of my life.”

- Britain's Mo Farah celebrates his 10,000m gold medal in front of a packed Olympic Stadium crowd.

SWIMMING

“I think everybody pees in the pool. It's kind of a normal thing to do with swimmers. Chlorine kills it so it's not bad.”

- Olympic great Michael Phelps admits to a different sort of gold run – his habit of peeing in the pool.

“Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss

- Michael Phelps tweets after ending his career with a 22nd Olympic medal

“She's fast, if she was there with me, maybe she would have beaten me.”

- US superstar Ryan Lochte reacts to China's Ye Shiwen swimming a faster final lap in winning the women's 400m medley than he managed in taking gold in the men's equivalent.

“We never questioned Michael Phelps when he bagged eight gold medals in Beijing.”

- Jiang Zhixue, the head of anti-doping at China's General Administration of Sport, on suspicions over teenage Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen's explosive Olympics.

HORSE RACING

“I always think the best time to leave a party is when you least want to.”

- Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to Prince Khalid Abdullah, the owner of unbeaten Frankel, when asked about retiring the horse.

BEACH VOLLEYBALL

“They are glistening like wet otters.”

- Mayor of London Boris Johnson comes up with a colourful way to describe the sight of female beach volleyball players at the London Olympics.

CYCLING

“Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling. He deserves to be forgotten in cycling.”

- UCI chief Pat McQuaid when asked bout the legacy of banned drug cheat Lance Armstrong

“I've been better, but I've also been worse.”

- Cancer survivor Armstrong in the wake of detailed revelations about his role at the heart of a doping ring that helped him win seven Tour de France titles.

“My wife kept going on because she was getting ecstatic that the Queen had sent us a letter. I kept saying 'F**k the Queen – Johnny Marr's sent me a message on Twitter! And Robbie Fowler – I had a message from God.”

- Music and football fan Bradley Wiggins after his Tour de France cycling triumph.

RUGBY

“That's called Australia pinching our players – it's not a system breakdown.”

- All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen blasts the recruitment of Kiwi players by Australian sides.

“That scoreline is a bit embarrassing.”

Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll after side's 60-0 Test hammering by the All Blacks in Hamilton last June.

“I'm ugly, I'm black, but I'm not stupid.”

Former Springboks coach Peter de Villiers vows to put the record straight in his autobiography. – Sapa-AFP


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