Champions Corner

4 Olympians share what they do to achieve their goals

Over the next couple of weeks, the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea will determine the world's top athletes in winter sports.

Olympians undoubtedly endure pressure to perform as they represent their respective countries in the quadrennial international sports competition. These athletes have demonstrated they not only have the physical strength to succeed, but also the mental strength to accomplish what they put their minds to.

Four Team USA athletes spoke with CNBC Make It to share the mindsets they use to achieve their goals.

Tough times are inevitable

Nathan Chen of the United States competes in the Figure Skating Team Event - Men's Single Skating Short Program during the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
Xin Li | Getty Images
Nathan Chen of the United States competes in the Figure Skating Team Event - Men's Single Skating Short Program during the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

Figure skater Nathan Chen, 18, made his Winter Olympics debut on Thursday. In 2017, he became the youngest U.S. men's national figure skating champion since 1966. Chen says to meet your goals, you need to "be able to push through" tough times.

"Never give up. There are always tough times, regardless of what you do in anything in life," Chen says. "Be able to push through those times and maintain your ultimate goal."

Chen adds that having goals that might seem "unattainable" can have their way of becoming attainable.

"Just keep striving toward that," Chen says.

You're in control of your success

Amy Purdy poses for a portrait during a training session on December 18, 2013 in Copper Mountain, Colorado.
Doug Pensinger | Getty Images
Amy Purdy poses for a portrait during a training session on December 18, 2013 in Copper Mountain, Colorado.

Though Amy Purdy is in this year's Winter Olympics for snowboarding, the 38-year-old is also a known runner, dancer and model.

"I didn't become an athlete until I was 30 years old," Purdy says. "I didn't think I was going to be an Olympian or a Paralympian. I lost my legs and went through this crazy journey and never expected to be where I'm at today."

Purdy attributes her success to her ability to not give up on herself.

"We may not be able to change the beginning of things, but we can always change the ending," Purdy says. "We can always set a goal for ourselves and become anything that we set out to be."

"We have the ability to do amazing things in our lives, we just have to have that dream, have that goal and take the action to get there," she adds.

Be your own cheerleader

USA Women's hockey goalie Alex Rigsby makes a glove save during the team's evaluation camp at Harold Alfond Forum at the University of New England in Biddeford.
Carl D. Walsh | Getty Images
USA Women's hockey goalie Alex Rigsby makes a glove save during the team's evaluation camp at Harold Alfond Forum at the University of New England in Biddeford.

International ice hockey champion Alex Rigsby, 26, says it is vital to "never give up and always believe in yourself, even when others don't."

Part of garnering self-confidence, she adds, is making sure that you are your own "biggest advocate" in addition to setting goals and big dreams for yourself.

When you don't allow fear or failure to hold back, Rigsby says success will follow.

"You might not always succeed at first," she says, "but if you set little goals to help you reach the big goal, I think you'll be successful someday."

Tune out the noise

Ashley Wagner competes in the Ladies Free Skate during the 2018 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships at the SAP Center on January 5, 2018 in San Jose, California.
Matthew Stockman | Getty Images
Ashley Wagner competes in the Ladies Free Skate during the 2018 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships at the SAP Center on January 5, 2018 in San Jose, California.

During the 2016 world figure skating championships, Ashley Wagner became the first American woman to win a medal in a decade. Today, the 26-year-old figure skater says you need to figure out the goals you aspire to reach.

"It's your dream and the only person that's going to make it happen is you," Wagner says.

No matter what may come to deter you from reaching those dreams, she says, you need to stay focused on making those goals come to life.

"If you want it bad enough, you can make it happen, but you have to tune out all the extra noise," Wagner says. "Pick some people's opinions that you really appreciate and care about and beyond that, you need to make it happen yourself."

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