Olympic Bites 20th June 2012

Olympic Bites – 20th June

As we gear up towards London 2012 (now only 37 days away!!!) we thought we’d share some of the experiences of our members who led the team to victory at Beijing four years ago. This edition features one of the world’s leading sports dietitians, Prof Louise Burke, who shares some of her challenges a few days out of the games.

Date: Tuesday July 29, 2008

The storm has rid us temporarily of the major environmental challenges. It’s overcast, but with reasonable visibility, and warm rather than hot. Very humid though. Today’s schedule starts with outfitting. A 30-minute bus trip out to the Western Academy of Beijing where the Aussie team has set up the Outfit Distribution as well as our Recovery Centre. AIS Recovery guru Shona Halson has set it up with cold plunge pools for contrast therapy, a gym, massage and a pool. Many of the sports will come here straight after their event, or the day after a workout or comp, to use our State-of-the-Art Recovery modalities. I set up a wee testing station and have some signs printed up on how to use the refractometer to measure urine specific gravity. “Piece of piss” AFL footballer Justin Koschitzke once told me. So I have borrowed this priceless phrase for the sign.

Now for the outfitting. This is where you feel like a movie star. You take a trolley and stroll over to the Mileno shoes where a couple of pairs of fashion shoes are popped in. Just your size, of course! They knew that from the measuring up day that you attended so long ago. Then Sportscraft tips in a beautiful formal suit with both skirt and pants options (and “pant” as they like to call it around here). Then there is the Opening Ceremony outfit. There are fitting rooms to allow you to try on any gear you suspect doesn’t fit (in case, like me at the Athens Olympics, you give birth to a baby a month or so after you were measured up). However, you are asked to be very careful about trying on the Opening Ceremony clobber. The media are sniffing around and this is Top Secret stuff. Cone of Silence. I could tell you about what we will be wearing when we march into the Bird’s Nest on the 08-08-08 in front of a TV audience numbering in the billions. But then I would have to shoot you.

As if this isn’t enough, Adidas comes to the party with a whole bag full of t-shirts, shorts, track suits, socks, shoes, singlets and wet weather gear. Most of it is wonderful. A small amount of it is unwearable unless you are Pamela Anderson. Note to self: Steer clear of the little green shorts that are twice as wide as they are long.

The remainder of the day is spent negotiating how to get my nutrition supplies from WAB to Medical HQ. These boxes of Eskies, cereal, cereal bars, sports foods, bottled drinks and other supplies left Australia on a slow boat to China many months ago. For a while the media stories were all about “Will they let it in?” and “Australians forced to compete without their Vegemite”. (No wonder there are Human Rights protests about China). But thankfully our ship has traversed the Pacific, the Chinese red tape and Chinese Customs with few ill-effects. It takes hours to inventory it, get it packed onto a bus and back to the Village. And there are casualties. We don’t seem to have nearly the number of cereal bars as my spreadsheet dictates. And Powerbars are also in short supply. Will worry about that tomorrow… Stay tuned – continued in next week’s Bites :-)


 Olympic Athlete of the week: Warwick Draper, Canoe Slalom 



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