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August 20, 2008
by Robbie Gillies
What athletes eat has become a big side-story of the Olympic Games. These people are at their absolute physical peak, and us mere mortals want to know what fuels them. Maybe, if we just slightly tweak our diet, we think, we'll be able stretch that corporate softball league-single into a double.
Everyone now knows about Michael Phelps' eating habits, and one reporter's (failed) quest to take on the Phelps Breakfast Challenge. It makes sense that Phelps has to gorge himself to keep on the weight, considering he trains for six hours a day, both in and out of the pool. And then there's Usain Bolt.
Bolt should be the second biggest story of the Olympics. Earlier this morning, he broke Michael Johnson's world record in the 200m that had stood for nine years (a time that many thought would never be touched). He also set the world record in the 100m, famously celebrating 20m before the finish. So, everyone wants to know -- what's his secret? Surely every meal for the past four years has been planned out to maximize his potential. I'm sure it's all lean chicken, vegetables, and protein shakes for the Jamaican runner. Well, not quite. Here's what Bolt said after breaking the 100m record:
"I woke around 11am and decided to watch some TV and had some nuggets. Then I slept for a couple of hours more. Then I got some more nuggets and came to the track."
And what about before today's race?
"You want the truth, right? All right. I got up at 12, yah, 12. My masseuse brought me nuggets, of course. I'm serious, though, he brought me nuggets. I didn't really want to go to the cafeteria so he brought me nuggets. And I came straight to the track, and my masseuse again brought me more nuggets."
Sounds more like a bloggers dream than the fastest man in the world's preparation for a race.
You think parents cringe when they hear these quotes? They know if their kids read this it's going to make it that much more difficult to convince them to eat healthy. The kids already have an excuse not to eat their vegetables, and now they'll want fast food for every meal.