Perfect game, New York Yankees "I think it's something that won't ever happen again, two guys from the same high school [Point Loma High, in San Diego] throwing perfect games. We'll always be linked, and that's fine with me. I can relate to him, especially the fun-loving part, doing things you like to do in life outside of baseball. I've done some crazy things, too. Life's no fun unless you get out and enjoy it."
—Don Larsen, former New York Yankees pitcher
Jeff Gordon, NASCAR Driver of the Year
"When I was growing up, everybody hated the Celtics because they always won. Jeff Gordon is going through that same thing. When you think about it, there is no way possible that any person in the entire world should dislike him. What has he ever done except win? He's never in trouble, he's very religious and he's always kicking butt. What more would you want in an athlete?"
—Charles Barkley, Houston Rockets forward
Olympic Figure Skating Gold Medalist "I was skeptical about someone that small, someone that young, but she's just so good that pretty A soon her lack of polish didn't bother me. And by the end I was thinking, Wow! She believes everything Will go perfectly because it's always gone perfectly. The prodigy is like a cartoon character who runs off a cliff: Everything is fine as long as you just keep running. Eventually after a few crashes, you learn to look down. She's never looked down."
—Ken Dryden Hall of Fame goalie
U.S. Open Tennis Champion "What I respect most about Lindsay is that she knew she wasn't going to be Number I until she improved her conditioning. So she got herself into shape, and now she wins those long, tough matches. As an athlete, anytime you encounter another athlete—male or female, in any sport—who combines hard work with ability the way Lindsay has...well, you tip your hat."
—Joe Dumars Detroit Pistons six-time NBA All-Star
Olympic Super-G and Giant Slalom Gold medalist "He has the potential to be the best all-around ski racer since Jean-Claude Killy. He also has the potential to get seriously hurt. His aggressive style is fun to watch—he's close to the edge all the time. It remains to be seen what it takes to destroy the Herminator, what his breaking point is. After his crash at the Olympics, people think he's indestructible."
—AJ Kitt, U.S. Olympic skier
Marion Jones, No. 1 in the world in the 100 meters, 200 meters and long jump "I met her when she was 16 years old. Sometimes you can just tell, This is a very special person. That's the way I felt about Marion. She had talent. Boy, did she have talent. And attitude, too. It was just a matter of time. She doesn't have to worry about winning gold medals. She just has to let it happen."
—Jackie Joyner-Kersee Three-time Olympic gold medalist
Fabien Barthez, World Cup champion goalie "Going into the World Cup, everyone said Barthez would be France's downfall because he plays so extreme. He has the ability to grab the ball off a forward's head at the top of the penalty box, but his tendency in the past was to bobble those balls and let in easy goals. But in the World Cup he came out for balls and held on to every one of them. He was like a Michael Jordan out there."
—Julie Foudy, U.S. women's soccer player
Mark O'Meara, Masters and British Open Champion "In football, if I got upset I could just cream a guy on the next play, but anger doesn't work in golf. You have to be smart. That's why I admire Mark O'Meara. He was criticized as somebody who couldn't win the big one, but he took the heat and kept playing, kept getting better, and look at him now. It's easy to see why a young, volatile player such as Tiger Woods respects O'Meara. We should all be more like him."
—Jim Brown, NFL Hall of Fame running back