Giant on the move
McYam meals fuel fastest man
Yesterday I took a mean swipe at sports journalists for the vacuous questions they put to athletes. I must tip my baseball cap today, however, to the reporter who asked Usain Bolt how the fastest man in the world had spent his day.
It seems the Jamaican did a lot of time sleeping, and in between feasted on “nuggets”.
It took Bolt senior, speaking from Jamaica, to put the record straight — and perhaps deter millions of adoring young athletes from a lifetime of fast food. His son’s gold medal, Wellesley Bolt said, was the result of a diet rich with the vegetable yam.
I can see it now: the McYam Happy Meal.
Maybe there is something special in root vegetables like yam. The secret of Samoan weighlifter Ele Opeloge’s strength, according to her coach, is a variety known as taro.
No doubt the majority of other Olympians in Beijing are eating an exemplary diet packed with fruit, vegetables, tasty tubers and other unprocessed food. Still, the McDonald’s restaurant at the athletes’ village has been doing brisk trade.
Take Jay Lyon, Canada’s best hope for an archery medal, who admits he is probably not the archetypal Olympian.
“I’m not much of an athlete — I eat a lot of McDonalds,” he said ahead of the Games. “I’m probably overweight for an athlete.” Lyon weighs 96 kilograms (212 pounds).
Lyon only has to stand behind a line and shoot some arrows, so “probably overweight” is probably okay.
But what about the athletes who have to break a sweat for their medals? No problem. Just ask U.S. sprint and long jump gold medallist Carl Lewis, who had this to say at a McDonald’s burger-making contest in Beijing: “I eat McDonald’s. I’ve always eaten McDonald’s. I even worked at McDonald’s. It was my first job.”
PHOTO: Usain Bolt of Jamaica poses with his gold medal during the men’s 100m medal ceremony of the athletics competition in the National Stadium at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games August 17, 2008. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay