Olympic Skiers Can’t Thrive on Nuts and Chips

Team USA relied on their own meals to keep warm in brutal conditions.

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Team USA downhill skier
Photo: Michael Kappeler/dpa (Getty Images)

We’re smack dab in the middle of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, and things are heating up! The thrill of the speed of athletes zooming down mountains, the sting of defeat in the final rounds, the steam rising off of the bags of pasta on each course.

Yes, you read that right. Team USA brought camping foods that just needed hot water to be cooked, including bagged pasta, to the Alpine ski course, reports Canadian-based SaltWire Network. The entirety of the games in Beijing have been affected by brutal cold and high-speed winds, and the location for the men’s downhill ski race, nicknamed “The Rock” (not to be confused, of course, with the human Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson or the 1996 action thriller The Rock), was no different. Sunday’s races were postponed due to poor weather conditions, which left athletes and coaches alike with plenty of time to ponder the food situation and try to warm up.

Let’s just say there’s a reason that U.S. skiers had to bring their own hot food. The main offerings at the mountain in particular were chips, nuts, chocolates, and other prepackaged snacks—intense COVID-19 protocols have limited what’s been available in shared spaces.

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Germany’s coach Christian Schwaiger was particularly upset about the snackage situation, saying to reporters, “The catering is extremely questionable, because really it’s not catering at all... I would have expected that the Olympic Committee is capable of providing hot meals.” You’d think at the very least a couple of vats of chicken broth would be supplied on the sidelines, right?

Meanwhile, Austrian skier Matthias Mayer didn’t seem to mind, saying that a hot meal before a race is not necessarily conducive to a top performance. He ended up taking the bronze, beating out the USA and Germany, so maybe he knows what he’s talking about.

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Ditch the pasta on the next course, Team USA! We have some medals to win!