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Pyeongchang 2018: 18 Fun Olympic Food Facts

Gazelle Nutrition Lab / Blog  / Pyeongchang 2018: 18 Fun Olympic Food Facts

Pyeongchang 2018: 18 Fun Olympic Food Facts


Wow! What a fantastic Winter Olympic Games so far.

There have already been lots of highs and lows and incredible stories of comebacks. The Games do not disappoint – so in the Olympic spirit let’s look at some fun food facts from this Olympics as well as Olympics past.

In a world that is all about numbers – from places, to times, to distance – let’s break things down in numbers. Here are 18 fun  Olympic food facts.

Olympic Village Venues


460,000: pounds of food used to prepare daily meals in the Olympic Village at the Rio Games 2016.

60,000: the number of meals prepared daily in the Olympic Village in Rio 2016.

24: the number of hours a day that food venues are open in the Olympic Villages in PyeongChang 2018. Ready access to food allows for fuel at the precise times required by the different disciplines.

2: the number of dining halls, one for each Olympic Village; The PyeongChang Olympic Village and the Olympic Village in Gangneung. Types of food prepared include meat and poultry from a grill station, pizza, pasta, pastries, prepared sandwiches, a salad and deli bar, coffee and hot beverages, a kosher station and a halal station. In addition, many teams bring their own food and set up food preparation areas in creative places, like this dietitian who tweeted about creating healthy snacks for Team USA in the med team room.


Fast Food Figures


1976: the year McDonald’s began sponsoring the Olympics. McDonald’s retains its presence in Olympic Village but, after 42 years of sponsorship and 20 years as a worldwide partner, McDonald’s ended its partnership with the IOC in 2017. McDonald’s departure from Olympic sponsorship does not end the International Olympic Committees partnership with so-called unhealthy food companies. Coca-Cola continues to be a worldwide IOC partner. Association with these companies has drawn criticism from public interest groups such as the World Obesity Federation who asserted that the Games should not be “a place where poor nutrition is given a halo of gold.” 

1: the number of McDonald’s food venues that serve free food in the Olympic Villages. McDonald’s is available in the Gangneung Olympic Village. There are two McDonald’s restaurants in the villages but only one where athletes can chow down without their wallets.

100: the number of Chicken McNuggets sprinter Usain Bolt reportedly ate every day during his epic medal quest during the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

920: dollars it costs for the burger named after US snowboarding phenom Shaun White. The “Flying Tomato” burger can be found at the Santa Burger, located close to the Phoenix Snow Park in PyeongChang. Its creator, Cha Gwen Sol, got a thrill when Shaun White actually showed up to try the burger during the Games.

Athlete Size Appetites

12,000: the number of calories Michael Phelps was reported to have eaten daily during the height of his training for the Beijing Games in 2008.

9,500: the maximum number calories nutrition experts estimated that Michael Phelps actually ate given his training regime and physique. Even Michael Phelps has poked fun at the claims he ate 12,000 calories a day and has said it was likely more like 8000-10,000 calories a day. Elite level swimmers use much less energy than you or I would with the same training volumes. This is because they have finely honed technique and are very efficient in moving through the water. Even so, this is still a lot of calories right?! 

2,800-4,000: the daily number of calories typically eaten by long track speed skaters.

1,800-3,000: the number of calories that many figure skaters eat during competition due to a reduction in energy demands at this time and their smaller physiques.

More Cool Olympic Food Facts

50/50: the percentage of protein-to-carbs Lindsey Vonn reports she eats at breakfast. But what about fat? Vonn, says she eats “a lot of fat”. The fat, she feels, is good for her hair and skin. Hmm? The math may not add up, but we think she means she eats an equal amount of protein and carb calories during her first meal of the day.

50: the number of pieces of sushi Japanese Olympic marathoner, Naoko Takahashi, used to eat after training. (Maybe she read our blog on Gearing Up for Marathon Racing!)

2: the number of churros Chloe Kim tweeted she ate when she got nervous ahead of her historic Olympic gold medal halfpipe win.



1 or 2: the number of times Hippocrates supposedly advised athletes to get drunk when they had painful muscles. This is definitely not on the checklist now but it’s interesting to see nutrition advice from the ancient past!


And that’s a wrap. Looking forward to more great food stories and phenomenal results from this Olympics. Whatever the outcome, the athletes competing in PyeongChang 2018 are sure to inspire us to eat better and exercise healthfully for years to come.


Sources: www.olympic.org and www.time.com and www.reuters.com and vox.com


Nutritional planning is integral to achieve your optimal athletic performance. Gazelle Nutrition Lab delivers one on one or group nutritional counselling and consulting to both recreational and high-performance athletes. Also, the Food For Thought Blog is a free resource for healthy recipes and health tips. Have questions? We’d love to hear from you! Get in touch!

Ashley Leone

Ashley is a Sports Dietitian and Owner of Gazelle Nutrition Lab. Ashley provides nutrition advice and plans to athletes and everyday active people alike. Her goal is to help fuel your inner athlete and put good sense back into eating. Ashley is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable nutrition specialist with over 20 years of experience.

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