Fun Facts on Olympic Eating
If you’re caught up with the rest of the world in the Olympics, here are some fun facts about what’s on the menu in Sochi for athletes and guests of the 2014 Winter Games:
- The US Olympic team has a private chef to prepare familiar, healthy food for the athletes. Chef Allen Tran says the US athletes prefer spicy ethnic foods.
- Mexican food is the favorite among US skiers.
- The US brought maple syrup and Sriracha hot sauce with them for fear that it couldn’t be found locally in Sochi.
- Inside the Olympic Park, the most popular food items are pizza, hot dogs and baked potatoes.
- Favorite local foods in the Olympic Park are blini (buckwheat pancakes served with sour cream) and grilled shashlik (lamb kebabs).
- Sochi is famous for a spiced meat dumpling called khinkali.
- Craving a Big Mac? There’s a huge McDonald’s right in central Sochi and another right on site in the Olympic Village for the athletes.
- A favorite drink in Sochi is cha-cha, a grape vodka from Georgia that is usually illegally imported.
- The concession stands at Olympic events sell Russian staples like cabbage coulibiac, meat coulibiac (a stuffed puffed pastry) or salmon and cream cheese bagels.
- Snowboarder Sean White says he always eats a big steak the night before a competition.
- After a big competition, some of the favorite “recovery foods” of Olympians are chocolate milk, pickle juice, sweet tart cherries, and beet juice.
- The daily calorie intake for athletes varies greatly by sport. Downhill skiers need around 4000 calories per day, compared to half pipe athletes who need around 2000 calories.
- Almonds are always on hand for snacking since they provide quick energy and protein.
- Greek yogurt is a go-to ingredient in the Olympic diet. It’s perfect for breakfast or a snack, plus it’s a protein-rich substitute for mayo and sour cream.
- Although sugar and candy are not a big part of Olympic diets, Chef Tran says that a box of oatmeal cookies has gone missing from his kitchen. Good to know our athletes have their cookie priorities straight!