• Presenting the Creators of Speed


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      Every day I make gains, through training, nutrition, and fitness so our team can lift more trophies and win medals. When I was a little girl I wanted to be one of the best players in the world, which is how I would like to leave the game.

      I’ve always been motivated by people saying I’m too small. In soccer, and in life, you have to be incredibly focused. Every year I set five goals for the year. I write them on my mirror so they’re the first thing I see when I wake up every morning. When I train or step onto the field I think about those goals. I grew up on a small Island in Georgia and would practice alone playing with the ball and running through cones.

      ● Country: USA● Event: Football

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      My Pop was a boxer, and I guess it’s in my blood. I love new challenges, and just want to do my best. I want to be remembered as someone that had a go, tried his hardest, and by learning from his mistakes became a better sportsman, and person.

      I’m proud to be an All Black. Whenever we play it stops New Zealand, and that brings out the best in all of us. Rugby is a tough sport, when you’ve had a good game and you’ve played well, there’s nothing like it. One of the most important things I’ve learned is perspective. Know where you are, and where you want to go. I don’t think about winning, I think about those times we lost. That gives me motivation to go hard in whatever I’m doing.

      ● Country: New Zealand● Event: Rugby Sevens

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      If I lose focus for even one second, I can fall and lose a fight. All my family will be watching, my friends, all the Brazilian people will be rooting for me, I‘m training and working extremely hard for this moment.

      I started in judo when I was six years old. I’ve always been extremely competitive and have always worked as hard as possible to be the best. Whenever I compete, I compete to win. When I step onto the mat I tell myself that I’m the best. I’m always competing to exceed my limits. During a competition I clear my mind of everything. I focus only on what I need to do, on my movements.

      ● Country: Brazil● Event: Judo (-78kg)

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      It’s hard to explain the feeling of winning gold. Standing with your teammates, so happy, tears of joy streaming down your face. I love playing hockey and sharing incredible experiences with my teammates. It helps when you win a few medals along the way!

      Stepping out on the pitch and hearing the crowd is a great feeling. But when the whistle blows, I go into “beast” mode. I do everything it takes to win. I’ve always been competitive. I started playing hockey when I was seven. By seventeen, I was on the Dutch National Team. Since then we’ve won World and European Championships and Olympic gold in Beijing and London, and our goal is to do it again.

      ● Country: Netherlands● Event: Hockey

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      I’m superstitious. I have a lucky bracelet, I wear new socks for every race, and I step on a wet towel when I leave hotel rooms. I always want to win, whether it’s a national race, a World Championships, or the Olympic games. It’s what pushes me in training. I want to go faster and faster in every event.

      There’s a feeling you get on the track, pedaling as fast as you can, the sound of the disc wheels buzzing as the g-forces drag you around the turn. I absolutely love that feeling. I started cycling when I was six years old, with my family. I’ve had ups and downs, and the downs are what give me the push I need in training. Before a race I don’t get into “a zone”, I talk to people.

      ● Country: UK● Event: Cycling

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      Four years ago I was young, naïve, and scared. It was my first big race. I took second, which was good, but I could have done better. This time I’ll be more confident. What drives me to go faster? My family, my mum, my foundation - there’s a lot of underprivileged kids to help. I have to keep at it for them.

      When I’m in race mode I’m all focused. The blood and adrenaline start pumping, the muscles get bigger, and I’m ready. I train with the best in the world, which is a huge advantage. We have great chemistry, but it’s competitive, because everyone wants to be in front, which helps bring out the best in us. We all love Jamaica, and when we hit the track we know we’re the most dominant team in the world.

      ● Country: Jamaica● Event: 100m & 200m Sprint

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      I put myself through grueling training, and push my body to its limits because I love the sport. I’ve always dreamed about competing on the highest stage. I think about what an incredible feeling it would be to be standing on a podium, representing New Zealand, being crowned.

      When I first started playing rugby I was told I was too small and not strong enough. I use that as internal motivation. You have to believe in yourself, when others don’t. You’ve got to have guts. Which means going out there and emptying your tank, and giving it your all every time, no matter what. I’ve always been competitive, but only in sport. In everyday life I’m easygoing, I have fun and go with the flow. When I get on the field I’m completely different. We’re playing a male dominated sport, and we’re aware there are people that don’t think women should play rugby. That’s changing.

      ● Country: New Zealand● Event: Rugby Sevens

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      Gymnastics is an amazing sport, and there are so many things I still want to accomplish. I’m in the gym training to win. If I win, I promise, it’ll be a wonderful party.

      I want to sweat my blood for the Brazilian people. The rings are physically demanding, but mental strength will define thiscompetition. The physical part, we’ve been working on that for years, the mental side needs to be sharp at that critical moment. During a routine I don’t see anything. I don’t hear anything. It’s like I’m in an empty room, no one is there beside me. Someone can be screaming and I won´t hear, because I´m focused on the apparatus.

      ● Country: Brazil● Event: Artistic Gymnastics (Rings)

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      My first memory of the Olympic Games was watching on television with my family, and seeing people from countries that I didn’t even know existed. Having an opportunity to go is special, and winning a medal would be an amazing achievement. I plan on taking chances and doing everything I can to win.

      I win by taking chances, not waiting for opponent mistakes. To win you have to be brave and take risks. Since I was little I’ve always been hyperactive, it’s just the way I am, and how I play tennis. You have to sacrifice to play tennis at an elite level, but for me it’s worth it because I love what I’m doing. Stepping onto the court with hundreds of people there to watch you play is an amazing feeling.

      ● Country: Spain● Event: Tennis

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      Before every race I always call my aunt, because she’s always supported me, and I pray, before every race. My family is what pushes me to keep working. I want them to be proud of me, of what I am doing. That’s what keeps me motivated.

      It’s the 100 meters; you can’t make mistakes. If I miss even a small detail, I won’t be able to recover. I don’t think about anything during a race. Before, when I’m on the block, I’m thinking, but after the starting gun I can’t think about anything, just about running, running, running.

      ● Country: Brazil● Event: Track (100m & 200m)

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      I don’t have much power, but if I play smart, I can open up the court and create good angles to finish the point. I love what I do, and I feel 100% of every single moment when I’m playing tennis. It’s great to see Romanians watch me play; it means a lot.

      From the time I was 14 years old I wanted to be a professional tennis player and now that I’m near the top I’m confident that I can stay there. I have to improve, and I’m working hard to get better. The big tournaments were hard at the beginning with so many people watching. Now I’m used to it, and I’m motivated to play on the biggest stages. I like to be aggressive, because I’m not very tall.

      ● Country: Romania● Event: Tennis

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      I have a lot of passion and love for running. You can’t succeed in whatever you’re doing without passion and love. What matters most now is my training. I know it’s going to be tough, but I’m focused and with passion and love anything is possible.

      Every time I wake up I’m thinking about winning another 800m gold medal. Getting on the podium with your national anthem playing has to be the greatest feeling an athlete could ever have. I started running when I was a young boy in Kenya. My role model was my father, a great runner who competed in the 1968 Olympics. In grade seven I started getting serious about it and I began to train. That’s the difference; it’s why I’m here today.

      ● Country: Kenya● Event: Track (800m)

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      I race both the 400m and 200m. I enjoy them both, but the 200 has no room for error. To have something special, a talent that we can share with the world; it’s an amazing feeling. I love what we do.

      I’m going for the gold and if you want it from me, you’re going to have to come take it. I know I’ve put in a lot of hard work, and if you have too, then we’re going to have a showdown at the finish line. I’ve been competing in track since I was just six years old. I come from a family of athletes, and they help me push through any obstacles I encounter as an elite runner. My uncle was an Olympian, but my Dad had the most influence on my career. We have a special father daughter connection.

      ● Country: Bahamas● Event: Track (200m & 400m)

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      I’ve learned a lot the past few years both in the pool and out. I’ve actually learned more from my disappointments than my success. The down moments have been a blessing in disguise. I now have a clean mind-set and get out of bed everyday ready to achieve my goals.

      Swimming isn’t a sport that just comes around every four years. Swimmers know that everyday counts. Sometimes the hardest part of training is jumping in the cold water. It’s repetitive, and doing the same thing over and over is difficult, but having your teammates and coaches helps tremendously. You have to have fun. Many people think swimming is an individual sport, but it’s your teammates that push you to reach new levels.

      ● Country: USA● Event: Swimming

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      We do everything with a light attitude, smiling and enjoying the process. What excites us most is seeing the crowd cheering when we come out of the water.

      We started synchronized swimming when we were seven. We do everything together. We live together, train together, workout together. Perfect isn’t enough. We pay attention to every detail, constantly practicing, repeating our choreography over and over so when it’s time for competition it feels like just one more run. This sport isn’t easy; it requires both physical and mental toughness. You must pay attention to everything going on around you.

      ● Country: Brazil● Event: Synchronized Swimming

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      Winning nine medals at the Beijing Paralympics was an incredible experience. In my dreams I don’t see myself doing anything else.

      I want to be the best. If you don’t set limits, you can reach goals that you never dreamed possible. I started swimming at 16 after seeing there was an opportunity for disabled people to compete. The feeling of freedom in the water is like nothing else. The most difficult part of this journey was the beginning; before any sponsorship, my father had to pay for me to compete. You need both the talent and money.

      ● Country: Brazil● Event: Swimming (Paralympics)

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      I really love to compete against the world’s best, and be one of the world’s best, as I break down my own barriers and write my own story.

      I find it difficult to set goals for myself because I feel like it limits me, boxes me in as an athlete. I have a God given talent that I’ve been blessed with, and I have an opportunity to make a success out of my life. I grew up in a sporty family. We always tried to see who was the fastest.

      ● Country: South Africa● Event: Track (200m & 400m)

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      I have a lot of support. Each race, it doesn’t matter how big or small, I’m nervous. Off the track, I’m happy hanging out, playing cards, watching TV, going to the movies and laughing.

      800 meters is a weird distance. It’s as much mental as it is about speed. After the first 400 I reset my brain and pretend we’re starting a new race. Then the last 200 I just zone in and focus. If I’m next to someone, that’s all I need, I know I’m going to fight. I know if I’m hurting, she’s hurting too and it’s just a matter of who can endure it until the finish line. Sometimes, to a fault, I think I’m stronger than what my body is telling me. I either try to ignore it, or mentally push through.

      ● Country: USA● Event: Track (800m)

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      The birth of my son changed everything. Everything I do, I do for him. Winning new prices and titles is an amazing feeling, because you work so hard to get there.

      I left my home to join the Brazilian national team when I was 14 years old, which was very difficult. By 17, I was playing in World Championships, and the Olympics. I’ve had to fight through several serious injuries, and today people see me as someone who overcame obstacles.

      ● Country: Brazil● Event: Volleyball


    Laura Trott knows you have to pedal hard to reach glory

    The search for speed is never-ending. Athletes push themselves further and further to reach new levels of performance and leave their rivals behind. Laura Trott knows what speed takes, and she’s still searching for more.

    “I will never stop wanting to be faster,” she says. “As a cyclist speed is everything, you want to pedal as fast as you can, to make sure you stay ahead of your opponents.”

    In a sport where tiny margins make all the difference she wears an adidas women’s cycling jersey, which has been engineered to shed seconds where it counts. It’s a combination of a sleek aerodynamic time-trial suit, matched with road-race comfort.

    But in the velodrome, with speed comes pain. The pain it takes to win. The aches and strains that only true champions feel. It’s a feeling Trott knows more than most.

    “When you cross that finish line and the lactic acid has built up in your legs, the pain is horrible, but it’s a feeling you strive to get. It’s the feeling that wins you medals.”

    Suited up and ready to go, Laura Trott is out to create speed.

  • #SPEEDTAKES Transformation

    Yohan Blake is prepped for speed

    A lot can happen in four years. It’s a long time to get faster, get stronger and mature as an athlete. For Yohan Blake, the last years have seen him go through a transformation.

    “Back then I was young, naïve, and I was scared,” he says of his summer of 2012, the biggest competition of his life. “It was my first big race, the stadium was full, and I left with the silver, which wasn’t what I wanted.”

    Now he’s looking for an upgrade. Looking to assert his authority on the track with the help of the adizero spikes. Shoes with precision-placed pins to guarantee ultimate traction. Shoes that are strong, supportive, and powerful enough to give even the mightiest a boost.

    “On the track, you get pumped up with anticipation and adrenaline, your muscles grow, and that’s when I’m ready to go.”

    Now Blake’s back on the big stage, and he’s ready to roar.



    Allison Schmitt uses her previous defeats to power her towards future success.

    Coping with defeat
    “Losing in Beijing was the first real disappointment I had, but it helped me get to where I am today. I remember crying after that race but it really helped me. Knowing what it felt to lose was something that pushed me every day.”

    Teamwork can inspire
    “Going through those two-hour practices is grueling, but with your teammates supporting you from the side it really helps. The team becomes a family because you are with them so often. You have to work hard but having fun is important, especially when it takes many hours and many laps up and down the pool.”

    Better every day
    “Every day I get out of bed, I want to make sure I’m progressing and getting better each day. I have goals and that’s my focus right now.”

    Feet first
    “The hardest part is probably jumping in the cold water every day. Being so repetitive and doing it over and over, but having your teammates there and your coach helps it along the way.”

    Turning defeat into progress
    “I have learnt a lot in the past two years. I feel like I have learnt a lot more from my disappointments than my successes. An athlete always wants the success in the pool, but by having those disappointments I feel like it is a blessing in disguise. It has helped me to become a better swimmer and person. I have reset my goals and know exactly what I need to change and work on.”