What do Olympic athletes eat, anyway?

Olympians are taking to TikTok to show off what they’ve been snacking on in Tokyo.

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tokyo food hall for olympics
The food court of the Main Press Center (MPC) at Tokyo International Exhibition Centre (Tokyo Big Sight) for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games
Photo: Xinhua News Agency / Getty Images (Getty Images)

If you’re an Olympian, burning all those calories as one of the best athletes on Earth, you’d better be fueled by some damn good food. If given the chance to hang out in Olympic Village, I’d probably be like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, asking every single person what they’ve been eating. Fortunately for me, TimeOut has compiled a bunch of TikTok videos of Olympians sharing their meals with followers. Honestly, maybe I should start competing, because the food in the Olympic Village looks pretty awesome. I wonder what I’d compete in. Probably whatever is least tiring.

Out of all the food being served, apparently the gyoza are a big hit. Neither U.S. rugby player Ilona Maher nor U.S. volleyball player Erik Shoji can seem to get enough. I am not surprised, because dumplings are some of the greatest foods on earth. Who knew they were Olympic fuel?

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Shoji seems especially into the food, as he’s shared multiple videos about it offering miniature reviews of everything on his plate (grilled pork, teriyaki beef, okonomiyaki, and somen noodle salad, to name a few). Most of the reviews just involve a happy head bob or a so-so look, but even then, I imagine this is much lighter and more interesting fare than I’ve been eating (I’m looking at you, Popeyes nuggets).

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Watching these athletes eat with such glee is pretty endearing, mostly because they’re so excited, whereas we normally only see them on camera looking nervous and full of razor-sharp focus. Food halls are awesome, and I too, would probably be like a kid in a candy store. Olympians: they’re just like us.

The competitors are also posting videos from Tokyo that aren’t all about the food, in case you’re curious. Australian water polo player Tilly Kearns shows COVID-19 protocols for eating. This includes gloves, a lot of sanitizing, partitioned seating with plexiglass, and a rule that once you sit down, you have 10 minutes to eat before having to mask back up in order to minimize the potential spread of virus. There’s also a food hall tour from Australian tennis player Daria Gavrilova that shows that the cafeteria is set up sort of like a mall’s food stalls. Despite the surreality of it all, it looks like the Olympians are still powering through this thing, and with good food to boot.