Steve Prefontaine Quotes in Prefontaine (1997)


Steve Prefontaine Quotes:

  • [Referring to the Nike "swoosh."]

    Steve Prefontaine: Looks like needless wind resistance to me.

  • Steve Prefontaine: So, what have I got going for me?


    Steve Prefontaine: Why does some kid from Coos Bay with one leg shorter than the other win races?


    Steve Prefontaine: Let me tell you something, all of my life people have said to me, "You're too small, Pre. You're not fast enough, Pre. Give up your foolish dreams, Steve!" But you know what, they forgot something: I have to win. There's no fallback here, no great stride, no long legs--nothing!


    Steve Prefontaine: I'm sorry.

    [puts head down]

  • Steve Prefontaine: I'd like to work it out so that at the end, it's a pure guts race. If it is, I'm the only one who can win it.

  • Steve Prefontaine: I don't want to win unless I know I've done my best, and the only way I know how to do that is to run out front, flat out until I have nothing left. Winning any other way is chicken-shit.

  • Steve Prefontaine: I can endure more pain than anyone you've ever met. That's why I can beat anyone I've ever met.

  • Steve Prefontaine: Bill, has it ever occurred to you that there's such a thing as overcoaching?

    Bill Bowerman: Yeah... I'm against it.

  • Mary Marckx: You ran great in Munich.

    Steve Prefontaine: No, Viren ran great, I was fourth.

  • Bill Bowerman: Know what your problem is, Pre? Vanity!

    Steve Prefontaine: Vanity?

    Bill Bowerman: Yes, vanity, Pre! Your belief that you have no talent is the ultimate vanity. If you have no talent then you have no limits, it's all an act of will. Your heart can probably pump more blood than anyone else's on earth, and that takes talent. The bones in your feet are so strong, it'd take a sledgehammer to break 'em. Be thankful for your limits, Pre, they're about as limitless as they get in this life.

  • Mary Marckx: Do you believe in God?

    Steve Prefontaine: I believe in myself.

  • Steve Prefontaine: It's the hardest thing in the world to believe in something, if you do it's a miracle.

  • Steve Prefontaine: You know me Bill, I've always been sort of an Adidas freak.

  • Bill Bowerman: George Young is in town.

    Steve Prefontaine: So?

    Bill Bowerman: So, he holds the world record in the two mile.

    Steve Prefontaine: Well we're running the 5,000 at the trials, Bill. What... you don't think I can beat George Young?

    Bill Bowerman: He's got one hell of a finishing kick. Now you're not gonna run away from him... flat out.

    Steve Prefontaine: Ah shit, we're back to front running again?

    Bill Bowerman: Nothing would please George Young more... or the crowd. You'd be giving the crown the performance they want and him the one he expects.

    Steve Prefontaine: Well you could call a race any goddamn you want, but I wouldn't call it a performance.

    Bill Bowerman: What would you call it?

    Steve Prefontaine: A work of art!

    Bill Bowerman: If you can't beat George Young, you can't win in Munich. Beating George Young is gonna take some kind of time.

    Steve Prefontaine: O.K... what kind of time?

    Steve Prefontaine: 13:23? 13:23? That's seven seconds faster than the American record, MY American record!

    Bill Bowerman: Your American record.

    Steve Prefontaine: How do I do that?

    Bill Bowerman: You wear him out. Decending series... negative splits.

    Bill Bowerman: Slowly, you go a little faster than he thinks your going. By the time he figures it out, he won't have enough left to hurt you.

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