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Martina Navratilova Quotes

Martina Navratilova (October 18, 1956 - )


Tennis player Martina Navratilova won the Grand Slam singles title 18 timesk, the Grand Slam women's double's title 31 times and the Grand Slam mixed doubles title 10 times. She played in the Wimbledon singles final every year from 1982 though 1990 (9 years) and also in three other years, and she won the Wimbledon women's singles 9 times. Martina Navratilova was born in Czechoslovakia and was given political asylum in the United States, becoming a citizen in 1981. She has also been a lobbyist for gay and lesbian rights, and has campaigned for animal rights.

Selected Martina Navratilova Quotations

Billie Jean King on Martina Navratilova: "She's the greatest singles, doubles, and mixed doubles player who's ever lived."

• I think the key is for women not to set any limits.

• Just go out there and do what you have to do.

• It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn't.

Martina Navratilova on Martina Navratilova

• I hope, when I stop, people will think that somehow I mattered.

• If I feel strongly, I say it. I know I can do more good by being vocal than by staying quiet. I'd have a whole lot more money if I lied, but I wouldn't enjoy spending it.

• Being blunt with your feelings is very American. In this big country, I can be as brash as New York, as hedonistic as Los Angeles, as sensuous as San Francisco, as brainy as Boston, as proper as Philadelphia, as brawny as Chicago, as warm as Palm Springs, as friendly as my adopted home town of Dallas, Fort Worth, and as peaceful as the inland waterway that rubs up against my former home in Virginia Beach.

• The mark of great sportsmen is not how good they are at their best, but how good they are their worst.

• The moment of victory is much too short to live for that and nothing else.

Martina Navratilova on Tennis

• Tennis has given me soul.

• I just try to concentrate on concentrating.

Martina Navratilova on Life After Tennis

• I've been in the twilight of my career longer than most people have had their career.

• You can't live in the past, there's nothing you can do about it.

• I shouldn't say I'm looking forward to leading a normal life, because I don't know what normal is.

Martina Navratilova on Politics, Equality

• Labels are for filing. Labels are for clothing. Labels are not for people.

• Disability is a matter of perception. If you can do just one thing well, you're needed by someone.

• The most absurd part of my escape from the unjust system is that I have exchanged one system that suppresses free opinion for another. The Republicans in the U.S. manipulate public opinion and sweep controversial issues under the table. It's depressing. Decisions in America are based solely on the question of how much money will come out of it and not on the questions of how much health, morals or environment suffer as a result. (2002)

• I love my birth country and the fact that it is now a free country and a true democracy. But my home is here, in the US. I have lived in America since 1975 and I intend to always live here. This is my home and it feels almost gratuitous to me that I have to affirm my love for the USA. I live here, I vote here, I pay my taxes here and yes, I will do my jury duty... any reports stating I am leaving and most of all, denouncing my American citizenship are simply not true and quite frankly, insulting! (2005)

Martina Navratilova on Sexuality

• Just by being out you're doing your part. It's like recycling. You're doing your part for the environment if you recycle; you're doing your part for the gay movement if you're out.

• My sexuality is a very important part of my life, a very important part of my being, but it is still a very small part of my makeup, a very small part of what creates a whole human being. In any case, being a lesbian is not an accomplishment, it is not something I had to learn, study for or graduate in. It is what I am, nothing more and nothing less.

• This is not about special rights, it's about equality. If I marry a woman, how does that affect anyone else?

• The more people come out, the less it will be an issue.

• People in the States used to think that if girls were good at sports their sexuality would be affected. Being feminine meant being a cheerleader, not being an athlete. The image of women is changing now. You don't have to be pretty for people to come and see you play. At the same time, if you're a good athlete, it doesn't mean you're not a woman.

• [when asked whether she was still a lesbian] Are you still the alternative?

• I came to live in a country I love; some people label me a defector. I have loved men and women in my life; I've been labeled "the bisexual defector" in print. Want to know another secret? I'm even ambidextrous. I don't like labels. Just call me Martina.

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About These Quotes

Quote collection assembled by Jone Johnson Lewis. Each quotation page in this collection and the entire collection © Jone Johnson Lewis 1997-2009. This is an informal collection assembled over many years. I regret that I am not be able to provide the original source if it is not listed with the quote.

Citation information:
Jone Johnson Lewis. "Martina Navratilova Quotes." About Women's History. URL: http://womenshistory.about.com/od/quotes/a/navratilova.htm . Date accessed: (today). (More on how to cite online sources including this page)

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