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Andre Agassi's Hall of Fame Induction Speech

 

Andre Agassi, who captured eight grand slam tournament titles, an Olympic gold medal, and the hearts of countless fans worldwide, was presented the highest honor in the sport of tennis on July 9, 2011 induction to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Agassi is the sole inductee in the Recent Player category.  Following is the moving speech he offered during the Induction Ceremony:

I believe we have a responsibility to each other, a responsibility to create more than we consume, a responsibility to build things that will outlast us, a responsibility to find our own limits and push through them.Even when life's challenges weigh us down, make us unrecognizable to ourselves, we can always begin again. There's always time to thrive.  It's not too late to be inspired. It's not too late to change. It's not too late…..One of the most influential people in my life I met only one time.  It was the most vulnerable time, a time that I needed direction and inspiration, and just then, there I was, shaking hands with Nelson Mandela.  He took my hand, complimented my game, and in the same breath told me the reason why we have been put here on earth. I can still close my eyes and hear his words of wisdom from that evening. He said: "We must be careful in our decisions, careful in our words, and we must be careful in our relationships. Andre, we must live our life carefully."Once you hear those words from Nelson Mandela, you can never un hear them.

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