Babe Didrikson Zaharias Quotes

A Great Woman Athlete (1914 to 1956)

Babe Didrikson throwing the javelin
Bettmann Archive / Getty Images

Babe Didrikson Zaharias was an outstanding athlete from her early years. She excelled in basketball, track and field, and golf. In track and field, she won medals or established world records in five different events. After winning two gold and one silver medal in the 1932 Olympics at Los Angeles, she played basketball, appeared at major league baseball exhibition games, and finally switched to golf. She married George Zaharias in 1938, and died of cancer in 1956.

A favorite with the press, she often did not get along well with other athletes, who resented her aggressiveness and self-promotion.

It has been argued that Babe Didrikson Zaharias was the greatest woman athlete ever.

Quotations by Babe Didrikson Zaharias

"All of my life I have always had the urge to do things better than anybody else."

"You can't win them all—but you can try."

"I am out to beat everybody in sight, and that is just what I'm going to do."

"You have to play by the rules of golf just as you have to live by the rules of life. There's no other way."

"Study the rules so that you won't beat yourself by not knowing something."

"Before I was in my teens, I knew exactly what I wanted to be: I wanted to be the best athlete who ever lived."

"Luck? Sure. But only after long practice and only with the ability to think under pressure."

"The formula for success is simple: practice and concentration then more practice and more concentration."

"The more you practice, the better. But in any case, practice more than you play."

"Practice, which some regard as a chore, should be approached as just about the most pleasant recreation ever devised, besides being a necessary part of golf."

"It's not enough just to swing at the ball. You've got to loosen your girdle and let 'er fly."

"Golf is a game of coordination, rhythm and grace; women have these to a high degree."

"Good golf is easier to play -- and far more pleasant -- than bad golf."

"I played with boys rather than girls. I preferred baseball, football, foot-racing and jumping with the boys, to hop-scotch and jacks and dolls, which were about the only things girls did."

"Get toughened up by playing boys' games, but don't get tough."

"Winning has always meant much to me, but winning friends has meant the most."

"You know when there's a star, like in show business, the star has her name in lights on the marquee! Right? And the star gets the money because the people come to see the star, right? Well, I'm the star, and all of you are in the chorus."

"As long as I'm improving, I will go on, and besides, there's too much money in the business to quit."

"The Babe is here. Who's coming in second?"

Quotes About Babe Didrikson Zaharias

On her gravestone: Babe Didrikson Zaharias, 1911-1956, World's Greatest Woman Athlete

Grantland Rice (Sportswriter)

"She is beyond all belief until you finally see her perform. Then you finally understand that you are looking at the most flawless section of muscle harmony, of complete mental and physical coordination, the world of sport has ever seen."

Paul Gallico (in Sports Illustrated)

"It may be another 50 or 75 years before such a performer as Mildred Didrikson Zaharias again enters the lists. For even if some yet unborn games queen matches her talent, versatility, skill, patience and will to practice, along with her flaming competitive spirit, ... there still remains the little matter of courage and character, and in these departments the Babe must be listed with the champions of all times."

Betty Dodd (Golfer and Companion of Babe Didrikson Zaharias)

"I had such admiration for this fabulous person. I never wanted to be away from her even when she was dying of cancer. I loved her. I would've done anything for her."