All Entries For olympics

Healthy Choices Aren't Always Easy, No Matter Who You Are

I don’t watch much T.V., but I have to admit I’m a big fan of the Olympics.  I love seeing people push themselves to their limits (which is probably why I like running marathons) and reach goals they’ve been working so hard to achieve.  I’m totally in awe of how in-shape these athletes are, and it inspires me to become a little more disciplined and focus on my own goals related to health and fitness.
Olympic athletes don’t get these bodies without a lot of hard work, which includes a strict fitness and nutrition plan.  They are closely monitored by nutritionists who make sure they are eating the right amounts of food at the right times for optimum performance.  It’s easy to assume that because they are being told what to eat and when to eat, it’s not as hard for them to stick to the plan.  But is it really that much easier?  Do you think that having access to someone like this would make your weight loss journey that much smoother?  My guess is “no.”
Posted 9/4/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Jen Mueller : 28 comments   14,473 views
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Poll: Have the Olympics Inspired Your Workouts?

If you're reading this red-eyed and fuzzy-minded, maybe you're like me and you've been staying up way too late each night glued to the Olympic coverage on TV. From swimming to volleyball to athletics to gymnastics, I've been watching all the sports I can each night.
It may be because I played three competitive sports as a kid and teen. It may be because I'm a fitness professional who's fascinated by what a well-trained body can accomplish. It may be because I simply want to cheer on my country. Whatever it is, we all have our own reasons for tuning in.
I stayed up late last week, all weekend long, and even last night, dazzled by what I saw. And when it came time to rise out of bed the next morning to work out, I noticed my approach was different than usual. This led me to wonder: Do the Olympics inspire you to exercise?
Posted 8/8/2012  6:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 86 comments   14,689 views
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The Olympics Workout Game: Work Out While You Watch

Who says you have to be a world-class athlete to get in a workout during the Olympics? If you tune in to watch contenders from around the globe go for the gold, don't skip your own workouts. Use our fun Olympics Workout Game to squeeze in some fitness while you watch. We can't promise you'll be as fast as Usain Bolt or have shoulders like Michael Phelps, but we do think you'll enjoy this fun workout. 
Try this workout during tonight's opening ceremonies or while you watch any Olympic event in the future.
Posted 7/27/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 45 comments   33,111 views
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Our Exclusive Interview with Olympic Swimmer Natalie Coughlin

The dailySpark recently had the opportunity to ask Olympic swimmer Natalie Coughlin a few questions, thanks to the California Dried Plum Board.

Natalie Coughlin, who was the most decorated female athlete of both the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Games, is currently training for the 2012 Summer Games, but she took some time to answer our questions:

dailySpark: How important is goal setting to your training? What is your proudest moment as an athlete?

Natalie Coughlin: Goal setting is one of the biggest components of training for the Olympics. Without goals, training has no direction. There's no one moment... I'm proud of my consistency and longevity in the sport.

dailySpark: When you have an “off” day when motivation seems to elude you, how do you push through it?

Natalie Coughlin: Knowing that I'm lucky enough to have one of the greatest jobs; being a professional athlete is a blessing.

Posted 4/20/2011  2:00:37 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 8 comments   11,016 views
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Our Exclusive Interview with 4-Time Olympic Speed Skater Jennifer Rodriguez

Jennifer Rodriguez might not have taken home any medals at this year's Winter Games, but she is still quite a decorated speed skater with a diverse history. Rodriguez, 33, began her career as an artistic roller skater, then switched to inline speed skating, becoming world champion in 1993 (at age 17!). In 1996, she headed to the ice, participating in the 1998, 2002, 2006 and now the 2010 Olympics. She brought home a pair of bronze medals in 2002 in the 1,000 and 1,500 meter speed skating events.

Stepfanie: You came back from retirement. How does it feel to be competing in your fourth Olympics?

Jennifer: I'm the oldest person on the team now; I was the youngest person (back in 1996). The difference is experience. I'm actually listening to myself, listening to my body, whereas before I was soo stubborn and I overtrained and burned out--and that's why I quit in the first place.

This time around, I'm having fun with skating. I'm coming back because I really want to be here. It's a challenge, I want to see what I can do. I am trying to enjoy myself outside of the training field, trying to mingle a little bit, get out a little more, whereas before I was super closed and didn't let myself have any fun. Before I would never skip out on a workout, but now if I'm exhausted, I give myself the morning off. That way I have more to give for my more important workouts.

Posted 2/25/2010  6:04:27 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 39 comments   13,561 views
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Exclusive: Olympic Curler Nicole Joranstaad Talks to the dailySpark

Nicole Joranstaad has been curling since she was a teenager, but this marks her first Olympics. This 29-year-old Madison, Wisconsin, resident is committed to healthy eating and goal setting to help her achieve her Olympic dreams. Though they're out of the running for a medal, they're still playing and giving each match their all!

Stepfanie: What is your favorite go-to meal?

Nicole: Turkey enchiladas! I use ground turkey, enchilada sauce and then whole-grain tortillas, with low-fat Cheddar cheese. That's pretty much one of my favorite things to cook.

Posted 2/24/2010  10:50:07 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 71 comments   10,446 views
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Is A Thin Body Celebrated More Than A Fit One?

I'll admit it. I'm an Olympics junkie. I love watching almost any event- luge, snowboarding, aerials- even if I don't understand what's happening. I just enjoy the spirit of the Games and how young men and women are celebrated for their athletic accomplishments. I also admire the bodies of the athletes, so fit and strong. But I notice that many of them (especially women) do not have a body type that would typically be celebrated in the media. Most female Olympic athletes wouldn't grace the cover of a women's magazine or walk the runway at a fashion show. Why? Because even though they have the talent to win a gold medal, they aren't skinny.
Posted 2/23/2010  2:17:39 PM By: Jen Mueller : 265 comments   29,072 views
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An Exclusive Interview with Olympic Alpine Skier Julia Mancuso

Remember last year when I got a sneak peek at the Vancouver Olympics venues and met some amazing athletes? Well, for the last week or so, I've had my eye on some of those athletes. I wanted to bring you some of the interviews I did with them--and update you on their successes. Starting today, you can read their stories!

Julia Mancuso is now the most accomplished American skier in Olympic history, thanks to her gold in Torino in the giant slalom and a pair of silvers in Vancouver (downhill and combined). She chatted with me in between training sessions. Earlier in the day, she also demonstrated some of her off-the-slopes training moves--including standing on a stability ball!

Stepfanie: You're very into giving back. Could you tell me why you think that's important?

Julia: I just feel really fortunate for all that I've been given, and to be getting paid to do what I do--the most fun thing in my life. I feel like it's really important to share the wealth and spread the love to people who need it and causes I believe in, like climate change.
Posted 2/22/2010  5:17:18 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 38 comments   13,047 views
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'I Carried the Olympic Torch!'

Editor's Note: Back in December, we shared the story of Alison Yakel (ALLEYCAT12380), who has been a SparkPeople member for a little more than a year, and she's lost 80 pounds and counting. Alison had signed up with a Coke promotional website and noticed a promo seeking torch bearers, and on Jan. 5, her dream came true. Now, with the Olympics starting today, we wanted to follow up on her story. Though she's quite humble about the experience, we think her story is an inspiring one!

By Alison Yakel (ALLEYCAT12380)

My Torch Run has come and gone, and it was an unbelievable run. It felt WAY too short--I never really realized how far 300 meters was (or I guess how short it was). I ran in the town of Ste. Anne, Manitoba, only 30 minutes from Winnipeg. There were six of us running in the town. One gentleman was running with the Olympic torch for the second time. The first time was back in 1988 in Brandon, Manitoba.

There were tons of pictures taken by family, friends, and many others before, during and after. It was interesting to see my husband running on the sidewalk, taking pictures and trying to get by people to get a few good shots of me running. It made me smile when I saw him doing that.

We were on the shuttle bus for a bit. I felt so out of place, compared to the others. The others had better stories than I did when they were selected. One was a full-time fireman in Winnipeg, a family man and also a volunteer fireman in a small town. Two others were high school students on a sports team, coaches on top of that, and one of them became in the top 15 athletes for ringette this past year. One person coached girls' hockey team and was a junior high school teacher. As I said, I felt out of place. They were chosen for a very good reason, with all the hard work they have done for their community. Me, I just entered a contest.
Posted 2/12/2010  5:12:52 PM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 197 comments   16,464 views
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Eat Like an Olympic Athlete

I LOVE the Olympics and from February 12-18, I will be watching as the world comes together 'with glowing hearts' to witness as the saying goes, 'the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat' during the Vancouver Winter Olympic.

A couple years back during the Beijing Summer Olympics, we learned gold medal swimmer Michael Phelps consumes 12,000 calories a day when he is in training. In stark comparison, a male of about the same age and height that is only moderately active would require around 2,000 calories a day.

Do all Olympic athletes need a diet significantly different than ours?

Posted 2/8/2010  5:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 63 comments   23,005 views
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80 Pounds Gone, Now I'm Carrying the Olympic Torch

Alison Yakel (ALLEYCAT12380) has been a SparkPeople member for a little more than a year, and she's lost 80 pounds and counting.

For the past few months, the 29-year-old happily married store clerk from Manitoba, Canada, has been working out with one goal in mind: Carrying the Olympic torch.
Posted 12/31/2009  10:01:01 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 233 comments   19,059 views
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Just 99 Days Until the Winter Olympics

The countdown is on. Just 99 days left until the 2010 Winter Olympics begin in Vancouver. Having spent a couple of days in that fair city last month, I can tell you that the excitement is already palpable.

I love the Olympics, both Winter and Summer. Sports don't exist in my world normally. (If you ever see me in the vicinity of a ball, duck and run! And if I've got a bat or a racket, run faster. I'm not violent--just really clumsy!) But from the Opening Ceremonies to the Closing, I'm glued to the TV. Suddenly, sports are really exciting to me. It makes me proud to be an American--and even prouder when I watch athletes from other, smaller countries win when they truly deserve it. During the Olympics, there's such a love-thy-neighbor mentality. Unlike during other sporting events, there's no hostility, no swearing, no smack talk. It's just peace, love and good sportsmanship. (That's probably not 100% correct, but just let me live in my fantasy world, OK?)

Two of my favorite winter sports are figure skating, with its simultaneous grace, strength and beauty, and hockey, which takes a level of guts that I don't possess.

As a preview of our Olympic coverage, today I'm sharing with you two videos of Olympic athletes showing off their best moves, which I took last month in Vancouver:

Posted 11/5/2009  4:13:53 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 113 comments   12,042 views
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INTERVIEW: Swimmer Dara Torres on the Power of Positivity

One of the most riveting and inspirational stories of last summer's Olympic Games in Beijing was the comeback of swimmer Dara Torres, then 41. Torres, who had retired after winning five medals at the Sydney Games in 2000, returned to the pool seven years later, shortly after the birth of her daughter, Tessa. With her perseverance, positive attitude, and, oh yeah, those washboard abs, Torres captivated audiences worldwide long after the closing ceremonies.

Torres recently took some time between swimming in the National and World Championships to answer some of our questions!
Posted 8/6/2009  6:06:32 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 56 comments   28,610 views
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The Agony of Defeat or the Courage to Carry on

As many of us watched the 2008 Beijing Olympics from the safety and comfort of our homes, we witnessed several of the world’s top athletes succumb to injuries or deliver performances far from what the world expected. These athletes, many of whom spent thousands of hours training to reach this pinnacle, were forced to face these obstacles head-on while we were all left wondering how they had the courage to carry on.
Posted 9/13/2008  12:00:50 PM By: Nancy Howard : 34 comments   3,491 views
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On TV: Oprah's Olympics Party

Having Olympics withdrawal? Yeah, me, too. I could watch athletes like Michael Phelps, Jennie Finch, Aaron Peirsol, Nastia Liukin and Dara Torres all day long!
For those of you who, like me, wish you'd had more time to watch the Olympics, there's hope: Oprah will open the 23rd season of her daytime talk show with more than 150 Olympians!
Posted 9/8/2008  7:12:55 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 38 comments   5,436 views
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