The world’s top athletes defy gravity, break speed records and push their physical limits during the XXI Olympic Winter Games, which start February 12 in Vancouver, Canada. What fuels their amazing feats? We asked four Olympic hopefuls: What do you eat to win?
Speed skater Apolo Ohno, five-time Olympic medalist:
My go-to recovery meal is coconut chicken curry. I like to cook it with lean chicken thighs or breasts, potatoes, coconut milk, onions, garlic and vegetables. I eat it with rice or just as a soup. It’s the perfect recovery food, with good carbohydrates from rice and potatoes and protein from the chicken. You can make it as spicy or sweet as you like. I like mine caliente!
Recipe to try: Quick Thai Chicken & Vegetable Curry.
Snowboarder Hannah Teter, gold medalist in the women’s halfpipe at the 2006 Olympics:
I’m basically on an organic-only diet. I don’t go to restaurants that don’t serve organic—ever. I cook at home most of the time and I enjoy eating super-healthy, pesticide-free food all the time… Everyone’s calling me “Hannah Organa” and I think that’s really funny, because they know I’m full-on.
Sasha Cohen, silver medalist in figure skating at the 2006 Olympics:
My favorite food is sushi—it’s such a clean food and high in protein. Plus it’s fun to get lots of small bites and interact with the chefs at the sushi bar.
Recipe to try: Brown Rice & Tofu Maki.
Bobsledder Erin Pac, who placed sixth in the 2009 World Championship bobsled event and is considered a force to be reckoned with this Olympics:
Keeping weight on is important in bobsledding. We walk up an icy hill that’s a mile long several times a day, so it’s really hard to maintain my weight. I typically lose 5 to 10 pounds during the season. My secret-weapon food is avocado. I put it on everything. I eat it for the good healthy fats and use it in place of sauces and mayo. I love it with eggs, on my salads, on my sandwiches and with salmon.
Speed skater Catherine Raney, a three-time Olympian who holds the U.S. women’s records for the 3,000- and 5,000-meter events:
I know it’s kind of old-fashioned but my staple food for racing is peanut butter and jelly. In elementary school it was always my lunch. When I’m racing, I don’t really like to eat beforehand, but I know I have to. Peanut butter and jelly is comfort food for me. It gives me the calories and substance that I need without affecting my nerves. It never lets me down.
Photo Credit: NBC / USOC