Food & Fitness

Poll: Do you approve of competitive sports?

Last month’s poll

Last month, we looked at the importance of hydration! Out of 21 voters, 5% are all about the coffee and/or alcohol, 33% carry a water bottle with them 24/7, 43% hydrate when they feel their body needs it, 10% tend to get their fluids through fruits and vegetables, and 10% say that they are dehydrated.  Here’s hoping that the 10% of parched voters have since re-hydrated!

Interview with an Olympic Athlete

I was fortunate enough on Wednesday to get an exclusive phone interview with U.S. speed skating Olympian J.R. Celski! I know. I’m Canadian. But who am I to turn down the chance to interview an Olympic athlete, regardless of their nationality? I figured I should probably ‘fess up, so I told him within the first couple minutes that I’m on the “opposing team”:

Me: I’m actually Canadian, so to be honest I’m more interested in you as an athlete in general rather than as an athlete representing the United States at the Olympic Games.

J.R.: Yeah, I figured you were Canadian when you said “aboot”.

Gotta love the accents. Anyways! Some of the highlights of our conversation included the following:

– Olympic training schedule: J.R. wakes up before 7am, eats breakfast, hits the ice between 9 and 11am, trains off the ice between 12 and 2pm, and then is back on the ice training between 3 and 5pm. He does this every day except for Sunday- or when his body asks for a rest day.

– Off-ice training: When he’s not training with his skates on, J.R. incorporates a variety of exercises: he runs, does weight training, and stretches. Although his sport is short track speed skating, he does plenty of endurance running as well. It’s important to train the muscles for all kinds of activity, after all, and that means both short and long distance training.

– Nutrition: A man after my own heart, J.R. said, “I eat when I’m hungry- which is just about every hour. I eat a lot.” And it’s good stuff, too! He eats whole, natural foods, including all kinds of vegetables, plenty of fruit, healthy meat such as chicken and fish (he says that he rarely eats beef), and the simple basics such as potatoes and rice. J.R. uses protein powders daily to ensure that he’s getting plenty of protein. When you’re a world-class athlete, you can’t afford for your body to get low on any nutrient. In his case, some kind of supplementation is necessary to keep himself fueled.

– In Between Training: In the off-season, J.R. still keeps fit by doing plenty of biking. His dad has also taken a real interest in helping with building J.R.’s nutrition, so he’s got the support of his family whether he’s on or off the ice.

While it was wonderful to get the opportunity to speak with J.R., I must admit that I am not pleased with the state of affairs of the Olympic Games itself. Because the Games are being held right here in Canada, there’s been a flurry of press all over the 2010 Olympics. And that includes the dirty side of it, too, with the focus on the devastating effects of the people who live in the area. People are being displaced from their homes and the economy is taking a hit. The environment isn’t faring too well, either; no matter how “green” the Olympics claims it’s being, there’s still a lot of damage to the environment because of the Games. And that brings me to…

This month’s poll

What’s your position on the state of affairs with the Olympic Games and competitive sports in general? I used to love watching the Olympics when I was a child, but as time goes on, I’ve found myself far less interested in them- there’s so much politics in something that should just be about the beauty of the sport and the athletes who perform! Drug use, lying about ages of athletes, the sheer cost of supporting the Games… it’s not pleasant and, I think, it really takes away from the point of the Games: to enjoy sports and appreciate what the human body can do when people put in that amount of effort and dedication.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you like to watch the Games? Are you appalled at what goes on “behind the scenes”? Answer the poll and elaborate in the comments section!

[polldaddy poll=2644356]

Good luck to J.R. and thanks to Renae at MS&L Worldwide as well as Crest Pro-Health for enabling the interview!


  1. Mary Anne in Kentucky

    None of the poll answers suit me. I have not had a television since 1996, and my internet connection is too slow to download more than an occasional brief video, so I haven’t seen the Olympics since then. I was always able to ignore the politics and focus on the performance: beauty should be untarnished by its roots. The coverage always annoyed me by paying attention only to US athletes; if the US wasn’t competitive in a sport, it got ignored. I grew up among people who distrusted competition.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  2. love2eatinpa

    wow, thanks for the behind-the-scenes interview! none of it surprises me, i always suspected that it takes an awful lot of hard work and dedication to be an olympic athlete, but it was really cool to hear it from one of them. you asked j.r. great questions!
    as far as watching, i enjoy watching certain sports, but am not a slave to the tv. it does make me proud to hear that the USA has one medals.

  3. Sagan Morrow

    Tracey- I think it’s quite fascinating, the politics behind these sorts of things… it really changes perspective.

    Missicat- There’s so much variety in the sports in the summer and winter, it certainly makes for entertainment, heh.

    Mary Anne- You’re the best role model ever.

    Charlotte- I find it fascinating, too. We can learn a lot from athletes (by either emulating them or NOT doing what they do… because there’s some out there who aren’t such positive examples of good health!).

    Love2eatinpa- Glad you enjoyed!

  4. Dr. J

    That was a great interview to read, thanks Sagan!!

    I’ve known several Olympians over the years, including many who won medals! Prior to the last Olympics (Summer) I happened to be in the sauna with many of our (USA) men and women sprinters. Talk about fit people!!! The best thing was, however, what nice people they all were, and I believe great representatives of the Olympic spirit and the US!

    As for competitive sports, I have no problem with that, but I would like to see on the high school level and younger, that if a kid wants to be on a team, and can do the workouts, that he or she should be allowed to be on the team, even if not good enough to play in the matches against other teams. The memories of being accepted and being part of the team will be a worthwhile experience and memory for the person.

  5. Miz

    such a cool opportunity and great interview.

    I truly admire the tenacity of pro athletes and Olympians.

    If I had just a SMIDGE of that methinks Id be better prepared for my race next month 🙂

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  7. asithi

    When I catch it on TV, I might sit down for an hour to watch the Olympics. But generally it is not on my radar. And there is too politics going on behind the scenes that just turn me off.

    Talking about youth team sports, it really irritates me when parents take their children’s participation a little too seriously. I have witnessed one parent yelling at another child, which resulted in the parents have a shoving match. Disgusting! That is suburb living for you.

  8. Sagan Morrow

    Cammy- YES. It’s the same as with sports in high school and university; it becomes all about WINNING rather than the pure enjoyment of the game. And that’s not a healthy attitude.

    Dr. J- That must have been really interesting to spend time with them! And I agree that it would be best if younger people were given more of an opportunity, even if they aren’t “star players”.

    Miz- GO MIZ GO! Cheering you on in advance. Just in case you need a little extra support 😉

    Asithi- Politics really ARE such a turn off for things like these. I don’t like it when parents do that, either; they should be ENCOURAGING their kids, not acting as though the sport is the pivotal moment in their kid’s life.

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