People always ask if I get nervous before a big tournament like Wimbledon or the US Open. Tennis is mostly mental. Of course, you must have a lot of physical skill, but you can’t play tennis well and not be a good thinker. You win or lose the match before you even go out there. My mom and dad always taught us, even when you’re facing tremendous obstacles and the world has counted you out, you don’t just give into it and give up. You always need to stay strong and true to yourself. When my career is over, I always want people to remember me not only as a fierce competitor but as someone who loves and respects the game of tennis and each of my opponents. Heading into my 5th Olympics, I have kept that same mindset, but there is something special about the games. To be a part of something so amazing and representing my country is a wonderful feeling, a dream come true!  —Venus Williams

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