"I think there's something natural to us about physical competition. It's such a direct and pure way to measure achievement" — David Epstein iStockphoto hide caption

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Champions

From Little League to the Olympics, athletic mastery plays a major role in our sense of achievement. This hour, TED speakers explore the minds and bodies of champions who achieve extraordinary feats.

"When I stand on that shore, the main thing is, I want that destination, I want it" — Diana Nyad Marla Aufmuth/TED hide caption

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What Does It Take To Dive Into Dangerous Waters?
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Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger Vitamin String Quartet

"The Olympic motto is 'Citius, Altius, Fortius.' Faster, higher, stronger. And athletes have fulfilled that motto rapidly" — David Epstein James Duncan Davidson/TED hide caption

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Are Athletes Really Getting Faster, Better, Stronger?
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Simmerdown Nostalgia 77

"It's fulfilling to me to find out what those limitations are, or to blow through the limitations that you thought you had" — Amy Purdy Courtesy of TED hide caption

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How Do We Use Our Challenges To Live Beyond Limits?
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1000 Arms Lymbyc System

"Success motivates us, but a near-win can propel us in an ongoing quest" — Sarah Lewis James Duncan Davidson/TED hide caption

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How Do Our Near-Wins Motivate Us To Keep Going?
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Winner Takes All The Platters