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Dan O'Brien

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  • As a young athlete, it was first about having fun; then it was about winning.

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  • Take pride in exactly what it is you do and remember it's okay to fail as long as you don't give up.

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  • When I was little, I wasn't allowed to put sugar on my breakfast cereal because it made me so hyper.

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  • It's important for me to think I'm mixed-race.

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  • You have to be able to be a good loser. You have to be okay knowing you're going to fail every day in something without getting mad and upset.

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  • It took me time to realize that the men who won Olympic gold medals in the decathlon are just men, just like me.

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  • If you never give up, you'll be successful.

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  • I call myself a chameleon.

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  • As a young child, I was never a crier. I never cried to get my way, or even when I was in pain.

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  • You need to become more than one type of athlete. You have to be a sprinter, a weight man and a distance guy all in one.

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  • To me, the decathlon is its own little society and I am part of that culture.

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  • It really means a lot that I won the gold medal - but I woke up the next morning expecting to feel different. I felt the same.

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  • I think what my parents did was perfect. They were strict, concerned about my safety and held me back just a little.

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  • And there is such a thing as a decathlon high. It's like a rock rolling down hill, picking up momentum. You get better and better.

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  • There is nothing better than having a personal-best day, being in shape and pushing myself beyond my own limits.

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  • Through everything I've gone through- and I've been everywhere, at the top of the world, in jail, hung over drunk - I never gave up my dream of winning a gold medal in the Olympics.

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  • The decathlon includes ten separate events and they all matter. You can't work on just one of them.

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