It’s hard to imagine the world of tennis without the likes of a champion like Billie Jean King. Winning a total of 39 Grand Slam titles during her illustrious career, Billie Jean is praised as one of the greatest players of all time, and even post retirement, she continues to serve up only aces.
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A fearless leader for the LGBT community and an important voice for female athletes, King reminds us in a recent interview that differences should not only be tolerated, but celebrated, and that being a leader within the sporting arena gives one the ability to positively promote change, culturally and beyond.
To toast our admiration for one of our favourite tennis players of all-time and one of history’s bravest voices, here are a few inspiring sentiments she has dazzled us with over the years:
“No matter how tough, no matter what kind of outside pressure, no matter how many bad breaks along the way, I must keep my sights on the final goal, to win, win, win — and with more love and passion than the world has ever witnessed in any performance.”
“The main thing is to care. Care very hard, even if it is only a game you are playing.”
“Winning is very tangible, it’s very exciting, it’s very pleasing, but it’s momentary. If you can do things that last, that each generation can build upon, then that’s when you’re cooking.”
“It’s just really important that we start celebrating our differences. Let’s start tolerating first, but then we need to celebrate our differences.”
“I wanted to use sports for social change.”
“I would just never out anybody. I think everyone has to find it in their own way and their own time.”
“I always wanted to help make tennis a team sport.”
“I think it’s impossible to judge whether another person should come out. You just hope they will on their own time and their own terms.”
“You have to see it to be it.”
“Be bold. If you’re going to make an error, make it a doozy, and don’t be afraid to hit the ball.”
“Champions keep playing until they get it right.”
“Pressure is a privilege – it only comes to those who earn it.”
Have a favourite quote from Billie Jean King? We’d love to hear it! Tweet @TennisCanada using #LiveTheMoment!