8.14.2008

What Really Matters In the Olympics - Showering and 12,000 Calories

Olympic fever is fully upon us. There are judokas throwing, boxers boxing, wrestlers wrestling, gymnasts flipping/twisting/turning/jumping, and divers showering. Yes, divers showering. It is, in my humble opinion, the most homoerotic activity of the Olympics.

For an analysis about how people asking stupid questions about the Olympics elicits stupid answers, and for the 12,000 calorie “revolution”, keep reading…..


Among other things, there has been a discussion of answers to odd questions about the Olympics, one of the most popular being, “Why do the divers go right to the showers after diving?” And determined to keep up with the homoerotic motif, one of the NBC Diving Analysts, Cynthia Potter stated, because “they want to have fun.” Seriously? They want to have fun? Granted, I’m sure divers want to have fun, but I doubt the divers’ ideas of having fun involve showering in front of the whole world, since the showers are public, and in full view of the audience, tv cameras, everybody.

Yes, in view of everyone – didn’t China spend a ridiculous amount of money on these new buildings? I know they did – could they not have included at least some semi-public showers? They had to know what was going to be happening. Seriously.

The real reason the divers shower/rinse off after a dive is because the water in the pool is generally fairly cool, and the showers warm them up and keep their muscles loose. Hmm….that sounds like a fake reason – I’m sure it’s really the “fun” thing. I mean, seriously – I know the gymnasts, judokas, boxers, wrestlers and everybody are jealous. They too want to have fun, but it’s not as “olympically” acceptable for them to get a quick shower right after the match. Further, I think that the divers getting a shower is redundant – they just got out of clean water – why do they need to get showered by more clean water? Now the wrestlers on the other hand, or the boxers – those guys (and girls) definitely could use a shower more after a match than a diver.

This question dominated the Yahoo: Sports page for almost two days – ridiculous. In a time where there are serious things happening in the Olympics (i.e. scandal over the potentially underage Chinese gymnasts or the fact that Swedish Greco-Roman wrestler Ara Abrahamian denounced his bronze medal) let’s focus on the showers, because that is where the real mystery lies.

In other news, Michael Phelps recently won his 12th overall Gold Medal; still on his way to pursuing a record-breaking 8 gold medals in one Olympics. However, the number 12 that has recently emerged as important is not his 12th gold medal, but the 12,000 CALORIES HE EATS EVERYDAY. 12,000!!!!!

Now, there is clearly a method to this madness. Phelps works out approximately 30 hours a week. And given his physique and Olympic domination, I think it’s easy to see that he works hard during these work outs, so he needs plenty of calories to make up for everything he burns.

So, for your enjoyment (or disappointment or jealousy or whatever) I’m going to post his “average” daily menu.

BREAKFAST: 3 fried egg sandwiches, 2 cups coffee, 5-egg omlette, bowl of grits, 3 pieces of French toast, 2 chocolate chip pancakes.

LUNCH: 1 pound pasta, 2 ham and cheese sandwiches, energy drink (of the 1,000 calorie variety).

DINNER: 1 pound pasta, 1 large pizza, another 1,000 calorie energy drink.

There you go – and trust me, I’m sure that’s not it. I don’t doubt for a second that he eats at least twice more per day, perhaps three times. Definitely not as much, but I’m sure he eats more times per day to keep his metabolism up. Also, for a bit of speculation, even though Phelps didn’t say what brand or kind of energy drinks he drinks, I don’t think it’s those of the Red Bull variety. In fact, I would guess it’s not what most people think of as an energy drink at all, but more of a protein shake.

I looked around at some different nutritional information and every time I tried to search something like “1,000 calorie energy drink” everything that came up were things like protein shakes for hard gainers (those who work out excessively). They need the calories because of all the energy they burn, just like Phelps. So I’d guess he’s chugging some crazy protein shakes. Regardless, it’s working.

However, I bring this up because I think everyone knows that 12,000 calories seems like a lot. In fact, it’s 9,500 more than the FDA recommends for an “active, young man”. I know that from all the food I listed above, you could tell he eats a lot, but since most people don’t have the same menu, I’ll throw some comparisons out there you should recognize.

12,000 calories equals:

- 80 cans of Pepsi

- 22 Big Macs

- 24 Large Fries, from McDonald’s

- 4 Orders Aussie Fries (with cheese and bacon) from the Outback Steakhouse.

Okay, so that last one may not seem too crazy compared to the first three, but considering the fact that Aussie Fries were voted, by Men’s Health Magazine (among others), the worst food in America, I think it’s kind of telling.

Regardless, his food intake is crazy.

So there you have it – the two most important recent aspects of the Olympics. Naturally. Showers and what Phelps eats for dinner. Is it just me or is the Olympic coverage starting to turn into an issue of some woman’s magazine? I can see the cover now. “How to have fun in the shower.” “What Michael Phelps likes for his 4,000 calorie dinner.” “How to look good in skintight spandex” and so on and so forth.

So for now, I leave you as your humble reporter for all things random in the Olympics, and true to the randomness, I’ll leave you with one more random fact. In case you didn’t know, the black stuff that’s been on Kerri Walsh’s (Puddin’s girl) shoulder, it’s kinesiotape, and the formation of it supports her rotator cuff, as she recently had shoulder surgery. Puddin was supposed to be the one to apply it, but the Chinese delegation protested his visa….but that’s a story for another day.

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