Steve Prefontaine, 40 years after his death, remains perhaps the most influential runner in United States’ history. Saturday, May 30, marks the anniversary of the single-car accident in Eugene, Oregon that took Prefontaine’s life at just 24 years old.

"Pre” – as he was often called – was a trendsetter and “a major reason” that Eugene and the University of Oregon became “the running capital of the U.S.,” according to the U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame. Prefontaine – a hall of famer himself – won six collegiate distance titles in his time at the University of Oregon and was dominant in the American running scene. His bold, hard-charging style, and flowing locks of hair, left an indelible image on the sport. Prefontaine, just 21 years old at the time, barely missed out on medaling in the 5000-meter event in his lone Olympic games in 1972 in a memorable race. He pushed the pace before fading  by just a couple of strides in the final lap.

Prefontaine was known for his engaging charisma and was a star that inspired runners to take up the sport for years to come. He was also the first-ever athlete to officially sign with Nike, donning shoes designed by Nike co- founder, and University of Oregon track coach, Bill Bowerman. The track legend has also had numerous movies made about his life since he died in 1975.

Below are 10 quotes from the outspoken runner to honor the track legend 40 years after his death. All quotes are compiled from Brainy Quote and Competitor.

1. "What I want is to be number one."

2. “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”

3. “Some people create with words or with music or with a brush and paints. I like to make something beautiful when I run. I like to make people stop and say, 'I've never seen anyone run like that before.' It's more than just a race, it's a style. It's doing something better than anyone else. It's being creative.”

4. “I’m going to work so that it’s a pure guts race at the end, and if it is, I am the only one who can win it.”

5. “Somebody may beat me, but they are going to have to bleed to do it.”

6. “I’ll tell you one thing, I love every one of them. I’ve thought about the Olympic Games every day of my life since 1968, but there is a breaking point in each race when you wonder if all the sacrifice is really worth it. You think ‘why should I do this? I don’t have to run this hard.’ But that’s when I think about them. They keep me going.”

7. "No one will ever win a 5,000-meter by running an easy two miles. Not against me."

8. "Something inside of me just said 'Hey, wait a minute, I want to beat him,' and I just took off."

9. "Over the years, I've given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement."

10. "A lot of people run a race to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts, who can punish himself into exhausting pace, and then at the end, punish himself even more."