Hep me! I can’t feel my thungue!

August 16, 2008

tongue-crop-5-180.jpgBlog Guy, what’s it like when you win at the Olympics? I mean, do athletes go through physical changes?

For sure. Sports doctors say most athletes totally lose control of their tongue. You’ll see photos of winners with their tongues flopping like they just had a quart of Novocaine. This can last for months.

I had no idea! I always thought that was just because they’re obnoxious!

No, it’s involuntary. When the really big superstar Olympics winners are in TV commercials, they shoot them from behind or wearing ski masks, or sometimes they use a tongue stunt-double. Surely you’ve noticed that?

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REUTER photos: above, Arkady Vyatchanin by Jerry Lampen

below, clockwise, Stephanie Rice by Jerry Lampen, Arkady Vyatchanin by David Gray, Deborah Gravenstijn by Kim Kyung-Hoon and Leandro Guilheiro by Dylan Martinez

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As a masters swimmer and physician, I have for 50 years of competitive swimming noted post race tongue ache and numbness of gums and mouth .It lasts some minutes and is mostly numbness and does not appear to be a movement disorder. I have always thought of it as sort of a tongue migraine equivalent. If it were to last months as stated in the article I would think there must be evidence of nerve damage rather than as I have always thought simply blood flow changes.

Posted by Dpierce | Report as abusive

search of wikipedia google and medline fail to show articles on this as a previously reported phenomenon. Either this report in the first taste of a new awareness or it is somewhat “tongue-in-cheek”

Posted by Dpierce | Report as abusive

Pretty quick there eh Dpierce?

Posted by Will Clay | Report as abusive

The tongue is the strongest muscle in the body. It just wants its share of glory! LOL

Posted by Dee T | Report as abusive