Going for Gold: Gluten-Free Olympic Athletes

Even the world’s most elite athletes are recognizing the benefits of a gluten-free diet. Todd Lodwick, who carried the American Flag during the Sochi Opening Ceremonies, has been gluten-free since 2011. Sochi represents Lodwick’s sixth performance as an Olympic Nordic Combined Skier and he says that going gluten-free was the biggest change of his long career. It is a change that has improved his performance significantly, “Being gluten free is something I believe in, and making that choice has extended my career. It has improved my skiing in a huge way, and it has enabled me to continue in an endurance sport that is demanding and that I truly love.”

Another notable United States Athlete who went gluten-free in 2012 is Chris Creveling, a Short Track Speed Skater. Sochi is his first time in an Olympic competition. He made the change to a gluten-free lifestyle when he began experiencing back pain and fatigue. Going gluten-free has helped him compete at the top of his game. Both Creveling and Lodwick have a gluten-sensitivity but have not been diagnosed with Celiac’s Disease.

Olympic level training requires special attention to diet, especially when you are competing gluten-free. For instance, Creveling consumes about 5,000 calories a day to support his training. Both of them consume nutrient dense fruits and vegetables along with meats, dairy and gluten-free carbohydrates. The US Olympic team creates an atmosphere that is supportive of gluten-free lifestyles. Russia also took the health goals of the Olympics very seriously in providing the Olympic Village with 24-hour healthy options with nutrition and allergen information next to each item.

Here is a list of athletes from the United States who are publicly gluten-free:

•Chris Creveling – Speed Skater

•Jazmine Fenlator – Bobsled

•Todd Lodwick – Nordic Combined Skier

•Elana Meyers – Bobsled

•Sara Studebaker – Biathlon

 

Check out this video for stories about Olympians who have “ditched” gluten worldwide: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-5641/Olympians-Ditching-Gluten.html

 

Zum Wohl!

 

Interested in further reading?

http://www.examiner.com/article/2014-winter-olympics-athletes-following-a-gluten-free-diet-sochi

http://www.glutenfreeliving.com/the-magazine/featured-stories/gluten-free-olympic/

http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Olympian-Chris-Creveling-Goes-Gluten-Free-Skater-244299421.html

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