Chris Rattue looks back on the most memorable sporting quotes of the year.
"From Neath No. 2 to World No 1."
The Welsh rugby club celebrates after their former hooker Gerwyn Price won the world darts title.
"Jeez it's annoying. Just f****** bat properly."
Aussie cricket legend Shane Warne hot mic blooper, about current Aussie batsman Marnus Labuschagne's quirky habits.
"Above all, I am an American citizen with great reverence for our nation's values, freedom and democracy."
Legendary New England NFL coach Bill Belichick turns down the Medal of Honour from his old friend, President Trump, after the US Capitol siege.
Quote of the Year candidate (1)
"Can't wait to get you to the Gabba, Ash."
Aussie cricket captain Tim Paine's immortal words to Ravichandran Ashwin during the Sydney test, before India's victory in Brisbane.
"Djokovic is a tool."
Aussie tennis maverick Nick Kyrgios, after Novak Djokovic allegedly sought reduced quarantine restrictions for Australian Open players.
"I didn't mean for any of this to happen."
Tearful Klete Keller – an Olympic gold medal freestyle swimmer – about joining the storming of the US Capitol in Washington DC.
"She might not come out of the shed as pretty…"
American Magic skipper Terry Hutchinson, on Patriot's rebuild after their scary capsize Prada Cup capsize in Auckland.
"I've been getting a lot of people saying 'you're going to the All Blacks' but that's a bit disrespectful to a brand like that."
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, after confirming the code switch that broke Warriors hearts.
The long haul
"Of course I'm concerned. Who wouldn't be? My doctor said don't go (but) I can't break my string."
The 84-year-old Bostonian Don Crisman on his pandemic-defying flight to Tampa to continue his run of attending every Super Bowl.
"You are welcoming this hurricane of offal".
Former forward Ian Roberts, league's first openly gay player, as the NRL Dragons considered recruiting infamous bigot Israel Folau.
You asked for it
"Last night, my wife gave me a thorough scolding. She said: "You've said something bad again, haven't you?' This morning, my daughter and granddaughter scolded me as well."
Sexist 83-year-old Japan Olympic boss Hoshiro Mori, who quit after claiming that women talk too much.
"Traditional events such as the slams will stick to 'out' and 'fault' but slightly more flexible tournaments (might) have 'Ralph Lauren' or 'Rolex' shouted out throughout the match."
A Hawk-Eye boss contemplates a world where the automated line calling system in tennis incorporates adverts.
"Hurry up, you OCD f***".
An obsessed woman in the stands hounds obsessive Rafael Nadal at the Aussie Open.
"Everyone is friends and everyone has made up. No hugs, obviously, because of Covid, but they did knuckle it out."
Welsh wing George North reveals how Alun Wyn Jones and Jake Ball made up, after Ball gave his captain and locking partner a black eye with a training ground punch.
"I don't know. If I ever say farewell, I wouldn't tell anyone. So."
Tearful Serena Williams, on her Australian Open future after being knocked out by Naomi Osaka in the semifinals.
Tell us what you really think
"Unattractive, unsafe and ridiculously gladiatorial".
All Black great Ian Kirkpatrick, on modern rugby.
"You know you're playing badly when your mum and dad are the only ones texting you and they're saying, 'We love you and we are here to support you'."
England rugby forward Billy Vunipola, during the Six Nations.
'Can you tell me your first name?' He looked at me and he said, 'Tiger.' It took me half a second…oh yeah, you're Tiger Woods."
Los Angeles Deputy Carlos Gonzalez, on arriving at the car crash where Tiger Woods was trapped.
"F--- these new rules. I couldn't breathe."
An NRL player, after a pre-season match.
"I was upset for a couple of hours. Now it's the same goal, same grind."
Black Ferns captain Eloise Blackwell, on hearing the 2021 World Cup in New Zealand was delayed for a year.
"Things happen for a reason, the good times and the bad."
Brazilian footballer Erwin Tumiri, a rare survivor of a 2016 plane crash which killed many of his club mates, after surviving a bus smash which left 21 people dead.
Sweet and sour
"I do not believe that I would have made such horrible statements absent my sugar spiking."
Matt Rowan, an Oklahoma high school announcer, blames his diabetes for racist remarks about a girls' basketball team.
"Probably about 1000 beers. Go to (Cronulla bar) Northies, try and pull something. Anything will do. No, honestly, it's all about recovery these days."
Cronulla NRL forward Toby Rudolf on his post-match routine.
"Maybe for me, finding the meaning of life was finding something worth dying for."
The great English league forward James Graham reflecting on his concussion-filled career.
"At my lowest point I wanted to die. I was completely broken. It's a miracle I am alive"…I remembered everything I had to go through to get here."
Japanese swim superstar Ikee Rikako, who made the Olympic team two years after being hospitalised for 10 months with leukaemia.
"I lost the four finals to him…but in those (early 1990s) days I was giving him a head start of about 10 grams of cocaine and four bottles of Jack Daniels."
Jimmy White, as he prepared to play fellow snooker legend Stephen Hendry in a world championship qualifier.
"No, 59 did not come across my mind."
Golfer Lydia Ko after her staggering final round of 62 in the ANA Inspiration – a record for a major - including a front nine 29.
Quote of the Year candidate (2)
"Seriously, we have got to stamp on this. It's criminal. It's a criminal act against football fans in this country, make no mistake about it."Former Manchester United star Gary Neville, who led the widespread condemnation of European clubs who had signed up to an exclusive Super League.
"I can't guarantee that anybody in the world will be alive Sunday. So I can't guarantee who will be on our roster on Sunday. "
San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, when asked about the future of his quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
"I've never been this bloody happy with second…it was bloody cool to battle with my all-time favourite hero Scotty Dixon."
Former Supercars star Scott McLaughlin, after an amazing second in just his fourth IndyCar race.
The good oil
"People can see it for what it is, a money grab… I'm playing this game to try to cement my place in history."
Former world number one Rory McIlroy on Saudi Arabia's attempt to set up a breakaway golf tour.
"I know we're disliked immensely, but I'd like to think we're respected for what we've done."
Crusaders coach Scott Robertson, after beating the Chiefs to claim a fifth consecutive Super Rugby title.
If you say so
"There's problems in racing. But it's not Bob Baffert."
Bob Baffert, legendary American trainer, whose Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit tested positive for drugs after the race.
"You have an international player warming your bench for 50 minutes. Your interchanges are killing us!!!...coaching decisions are (rubbish bin emoji)."
Kirsten Tapine, wife of Raiders forward Joseph, gives coach Ricky Stuart some advice on Instagram.
"I was wondering if (Derek) Chisora was losing his mind like Robert Mugabe did in his last days."
David Higgins, boxer Joseph Parker's manager, on Zimbabweans he knows.
"V'landys has come out, and hit it on the head."
Warriors wing Ken Maumalo agrees with the NRL boss Peter V'landys over his campaign to eradicate head high tackles.
"Can you imagine that ball being thrown back to the bowler and the bowler not knowing about it? Please."
Michael Clarke - a previous Australian captain - as the sandpaper/ball tampering disaster re-erupted amongst players involved.
"There's a lot of voices going on in my head… there's a more rational one that is more in touch with reality and it is telling me that I will not be available for the Silver Ferns."
The 38-year-old netball great Anna Harrison decides her comeback won't extend to being available for the national side.
"I'm just not going to subject myself to people that doubt me. I've watched many clips of athletes breaking down after a loss in the press room…(it's) kicking a person when they're down and I don't understand the reasoning."
Naomi Osaka refuses to attend media conferences at the French Open tennis tournament.
"South African rugby has for many years imagined a future aligned with northern-hemisphere rugby and this announcement marks the arrival of that vision."
Jurie Roux, CEO of South African Rugby, as their Super Rugby teams join Europe's PRO14.
My lips have squealed
"The negotiations and the offer are commercial-in-confidence and details cannot be shared at this point. However, I can confirm it involved cash and in-kind support worth around $99 million."
Government Minister Stuart Nash, as Team New Zealand bids to take the America's Cup offshore.
Portugal's superstar Ronaldo, as he removed two bottles of Coke and grabbed a water bottle at a Euro football press conference.
"Allez Opi-Omi" (Come on granddad-granny, in a mix of French and German)
A mass Tour de France crash was caused by a woman holding a sign with those words on it. She then went on the run.
That's the Olympic spirit
"I don't feel like going into them today. Maybe another day. Sorry."
Serena Williams, when asked the reasons why she would skip the Olympic Games.
"But let's be serious, at what point after representing Queensland in the 15's, 18's and 20's would anyone think I'm not eligible?"
Auckland-born Ronaldo Mulitalo after being pulled out of Queensland's State of Origin team on the morning of the match.
"I can promise you when I went back to the changing room, I destroyed everything, because I was angry at myself."
French rugby referee Romain Poite says his decision in the third 2017 British and Irish Lions test at Eden Park - which denied the All Blacks a winning penalty shot - was wrong.
No family ties
"It is embarrassing how he struck that, for a player of his level. He hit it too lightly. I hope you are going to scold him."
Grandstand chat between French players' families at the Euro football champs, after Kylian Mbappe's penalty shootout miss saw the favourites exit against Switzerland.
"…while I have friends from that (2005) tour to New Zealand, I don't share the same bond. I am sure the feelings for many will be mutual, and while I bear no grudges, I also don't carry any real respect."
England's Will Greenwood comparing 'teamship' on various British and Irish Lions tours.
"The good thing about Bob is, you could take his car, nick his house, shove him over and he would still phone you that same night and make a deal."
Eddie Hearn, on rival promoter Bob Arum, as the all-Brit unification bout between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua struck hurdles.
On the level
"We don't need England playing the All Blacks again in the (World Cup) semi-final in 10 years' time. We need Samoa or we need Georgia or Romania."
All Black great John Kirwan on rugby's failure to deal with disparities, after Tonga were beaten 102 – 0 at Mt Smart Stadium.
"His situation is much more complex than this - he has other charges for which there are arrest warrants too. There are other victims."
Cordoba prosecutor Laura Battistelli, after two-time golf major winner Angel Cabrera was jailed for assaults on a former partner.
First among equals
"For me Novak is the best ever…the guy is unbeatable. It's like in the movies, you have to kill the guy 27 times, yet he still gets up."
Former world number two Goran Ivanisevic, coach of Novak Djokovic, after the Serb drew level with Roger Federer and Raphael Nadal on 20 grand slam singles titles.
"Awkward moment…Wearing the green and gold 70 times apparently is not enough these days."
Bemused Kiwi-Wallaby Quade Cooper on being refused citizenship in Australia, where he has lived since the age of 13.
"The thought of going into one of the most high-pressure situations, that is already in a bubble…with no fans, no friends. I've never played without fans."
Star Aussie basketballer Liz Cambage - a reportedly unpopular team mate - pulls out of the Olympics over mental health issues.
"When you work so hard for this rare moment in time and have sacrificed a lot along your journey…it especially hurts when you've qualified but are denied selection due to NZ standard / policy."
Sprinter Zoe Hobbs, after missing Olympic selection.
"Imagine that you sacrifice five years of your life and… your sacrifice results in a total flop."
Alicja Tchorz, among six swimmers sent home from Japan because Poland exceeded their Olympic limit.
"How unnerving our victories are for some of our colleagues... the broken record is once again playing the song about Russia doping and someone is diligently pressing the button on the English-language propaganda."
The Russian Olympic Committee.
"It's such a special group and this is the last time we'll be playing together as a team. We love to have a good time and that's probably the most important thing for us."
Sarah Hirini, captain of the Olympic Black Ferns.
A shot in the arm
I'd much rather have the Olympic Games with no fans than that being the sticking point…if you can't get pumped up for the Olympic Games, you're probably in the wrong spot."
Shot putter Tom Walsh gives the crowdless Games the thumbs up.
Love and hate
"It's taken me five years to have that courage to get back out there and do something that is really scary and hurts a lot. I hate it, but I love it."
Canoe star Lisa Carrington, after her record Olympic gold medal haul.
"People are allowed to be sick, that's what sick bags are for... who cares who... threw up, it's not World War III? Why is rugby being dragged through the mud?"
An Australian sevens player, after a supposedly boozy flight home from Japan.
"This means so much more than winning my gold medals."
Double Olympic shot put champion and new mum Dame Valerie Adams, on what it took to win bronze at the age of 36.
"A bad joke. Anyone that has trained weightlifting at a high level knows this to be true in their bones: this particular situation is unfair to the sport and to the athletes."
Belgium's Anna Van Bellinghen, on Kiwi transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard.
News travels slow
"I really didn't know anything about him."
America's silver medal winner Fred Kerley on Italy's Lament Marcell Jacobs, shock winner of the Olympic 100m.
"If you put a trampoline there I think it's b*******."
Norway's 400m hurdles gold medallist Karsten Warholm takes aim at American silver medallist Rai Benjamin's shoes.
"Before I got here tonight I was going to die at 85, now I'm going to die at 80. It definitely took a few years off my life."
Kiwi shot put star Tom Walsh, who nearly fouled out of the final before winning the Olympic bronze medal.
"We'll take her off social media for a little while".
Stewart Brown, father of 13-year-old British skateboarder Sky Brown, who won Olympic bronze and has a million Instagram followers.
Heart of gold
"This silver can save lives, instead of collecting dust in a closet."
Poland's Olympic javelin silver medallist and cancer survivor Maria Andrejczyk, whose medal auction raised money for a kid's heart operation.
Not the white stuff
"It sort of baffles me why they want to go down the track. Will they also then change the All Blacks?"
Ex-All White Vaughan Coveny on the proposal to drop the All Whites name to encourage cultural inclusivity.
"I had to practice hard for three consecutive years on a daily basis. At the beginning, people were amazed and surprised seeing me playing."
Egyptian Ibrahim Hamadtou, who wowed the world playing table tennis with the bat in his mouth at the Paralympics.
And your point is?
"I think if we got 25 more runs it would have been a very interesting and tight finish.'
Coach Glenn Pocknall after the Black Caps scored a record low 60 in an inaugural T20 defeat to Bangladesh in Dhaka.
Quote of the Year candidate (3)
"I remember leaving some of my insides on the side of the pool then receiving some medical treatment and it's a bit of a blackout moment for me. I was cut out of my togs and received some oxygen and woke up, came back to the world and slowly started to get myself back."
Paralympics swimming superstar Sophie Pascoe, after winning the 200m medley gold in Tokyo.
"On a hoax threat you have called-off the tour despite all assurances!!…Black Caps do you understand the impact of your decision?"
Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi, after the New Zealand team quit their tour on security advice.
"They definitely think they're superior to us. And perhaps on the field that's currently a fair cop. But the basis of the ANZAC bloc is equal partnership and what goes around, comes around."
Australian rugby chairman Hamish McLennan, on New Zealand Rugby's attitude.
"Today we had players that took shortcuts and our behaviour on the field was not acceptable. Two years of sacrifice and hard work and to finish you last game in a manner that's not acceptable."
Warriors coach Nathan Brown, after the nomadic NRL team's bad tempered 2021 finale against the Titans.
"It's a miracle…this is a kid no one had ever heard of until a couple of weeks ago. Now she's the biggest name in sport. She's stolen all our hearts."
Tennis legend Chris Evert on 18-year-old Brit Emma Raducanu, the world No. 150 who won the US Open in an all-teen final.
Now you tell us
"He's just always been a fraud to me. ... From day one, he's been a used car salesman. He's been doing that for years. ...talking behind people's backs, that was one of his traits in Tampa."
NFL player turned broadcaster Keyshawn Johnson on John Gruden, who resigned as Raiders coach when racist, homophobic and mysogynistic emails emerged.
"It is a huge issue but it's not Newcastle United fans' fault… already they are massively invested in this country and other sports."
Legendary Geordie footballer Alan Shearer after Saudi Arabia's controversial purchase of EPL club Newcastle United.
Top of the pyramid
"Come on, who is better than him? We don't have to talk about what Messi and Ronaldo have done for world football and their dominance but, right now, he is the best."
Liverpool football manager Jurgen Klopp on the club's Egyptian striker Mohamed Salah.
"If I was racist, I could easily have taken the knee and lied, which is wrong and doesn't build a better society."
South African cricketer Quinton de Kock, whose place in cricket's T20 World Cup was in jeopardy after he initially refused to follow South African cricket's orders.
That's okay then
"I wasn't trying to kill anybody out there, that' not my intention. I mean, Jesus, thank God it didn't hit him".
Kiwi golfer Danny Lee, after nearly hitting a fellow competitor with a provisional tee shot at the Bermuda championships.
"It's probably as good as it gets…the kids were pretty excited, they were more excited than me."
Superstar Kiwi trainer Chris Waller stayed in Sydney to avoid quarantine as Verry Elleegant won Waller his first Melbourne Cup.
"I hope this is the beginning of the end of sexism and objectification of women and girls in sport…that in future all women and girls will be free to participate in sport without fear of wardrobe malfunctions and sexual harassment."
Australian activist Talitha Stone, after international handball dropped the mandatory bikini rule.
"Like an egg hitting a rock, or a moth to the flame, courting self-destruction, I'll tell the truth about you."
Peng Shuai, one of China's greatest tennis players, accuses former vice premier Zhang Gaoli of a Me Too category sexual assault.
"I realise I'm in the crosshairs of the woke mob…look, I'm not, you know, some sort of anti-vax, flat-earther. I am a critical thinker. I believe strongly in bodily autonomy and ability to make choices for your body."
Covid-positive Aaron Rodgers, the legendary NFL quarterback, says he cannot vaccinate for an allergy reason.
On the skids
"It's easy to get really alarmed and be like, am I the last generation of skiers, will my kids, my grandkids ski?"
Californian professional skier and media figure Amie Engerbretson, as snow disappears because of climate change.
Breaking the duck
"There's a lot of things that have happened, just mentally in a good place, getting all the ducks in a row and boom, that's what happened."
Journeyman Kiwi golfer Steven Alker on his brilliant senior's tour start which included his first win in seven years.
"I'm absolutely just in awe of her. And I told her it almost brought a tear to my eye knowing the future of the game, the next generation is in her hands. I almost swore. It's freaking awesome."
LPGA veteran Christina Lim, on the game's new superstar Nelly Korda.
Walking the walk
"Life has certainly changed but it would be rewarding knowing I could use my experiences to help others. I can't thank everyone enough — the support has been most humbling."
Inspiring Samoan international Mose Masoe - severely paralysed in an English club game - on seeking a new role in league.
"He's shown no remorse and he would only show remorse I think if it contributes to his getting out of jail."
June Steenkamp, as famed Paralympian Oscar Pistorius seeks an early release from jail for killing her daughter in 2013.
A voice is heard
"I was not going to let this go, no matter how much damage it causes me - I was determined to become a voice for the voiceless."
Former Yorkshire cricketer and whistleblower Azeem Rafiz to a Parliamentary enquiry investigating endemic racism in cricket.
"Stacy Lewis was actually somebody that advised me to say, hey, you've got to be the best version of yourself now and not try to be who you were in the past. It meant a lot for somebody like her to say that to me, and then I think it really hit me then."
Reborn golf ace Lydia Ko thanks a fellow former world number one for getting her back on track.
"It was really scary…at some point I thought this could be me forever. I have to give it away. It's just not worth it for me anymore."
Former All Black Dillon Hunt, who retired from rugby at the age of 26 over concussion problems.
"It has taken a lot for English cricket's race crisis to be knocked off the top of the game's news agenda this week, at least temporarily. But somehow the Aussies managed it."
The Daily Mail's Paul Newman, after Australian cricket captain Tim Paine resigned over a sex-text scandal.
"I don't think we can consistently beat those teams, but it does make us competitive. It brings the score from 100 down to 20."
Tonga rugby coach Toutai Kefu, as World Rugby changes its rules thus freeing players to switch international allegiances.
"Heart and soul, I still love the All Blacks jersey, and what it's provided to me and my family. But man, the heart and the soul goes back deep. My Samoan blood goes back thousands of years."
Ardie Savea on World Rugby's international eligibility rule change.
"F***, we have so many piss ups".
Kiwi Brandon Smith, who is headed to the Roosters in 2023, about the bonding techniques at his current NRL club Melbourne.
Boots and all
"I have so many gay friends in our age now and I never thought about how it was when they had to say: 'By the way Mum / Dad / whoever, I'm not exactly how you expected it may be…Whatever I can do, and I will say it here today live on camera, I will do. I'm completely in."
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp in an online chat with Kiwi footballer Meikayla Moore, about the Rainbow Laces campaign.
"I felt we weren't quite there in training…I brought a samurai sword into the team room. It was impressive and authentic and I had spent a fair amount of money on it….I also brought in some kiwi fruit. I used the samurai sword to scythe them in two."
England coach Eddie Jones reveals how he got his team in the mood before demolishing the All Blacks at the 2019 World Cup.
"My mum and dad have been such big influences on my career. I am sure that they are proud."
Black Caps debutant Rachin Ravindra, whose parents are Indian, after his tailender batting heroics saved the first test in India.
"We don't have enough information and I think it's a very bold, very courageous stance from WTA."
Novak Djokovic, after the WTA suspended tournaments in China over concerns for the safety of the player Peng Shuai.
"I would have been happy if I'd got nine and got to get off the park because someone else took a wicket."
Kiwi spinner Ajaz Patel after becoming the third man in 144 years of test cricket to take 10 wickets in an innings, against India.