These Are The Some Of The Best Foods Olympic Athletes Have Had So Far

There is something to be said about traveling to a new country and being given the chance to try new cuisines. And while that most certainly happens with athletes who travel to different countries to take part in international sporting events like the Olympics, the food stakes at these events are also much higher. As Susie Parker-Simmons, a senior sport dietitian at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado put it, "When you're talking to the general public about food, nutrition is for health, and it's for you to do everything that you want to do with plenty of energy throughout the day. It's a social thing, too" (via Team USA).

But the stakes are different for athletes. "I really need them to see food as fuel. And then they've got to fuel their body to the best of their ability," Parker-Simmons says.

It's a real bonus then, when athletes get to fuel their bodies with things they enjoy, which appeared to be the case with a number of athletes who traveled to Beijing for the Winter Olympics. And while not everyone gave the cuisine on offer two thumbs up — South Korean speed skater Kim Bo-reum told the Yonhap News Agency that as soon as she looked over her dinner options at the athlete's cafeteria, "I wanted to go home right then and there" — the same could not be said of other athletes who considered the food choices to either social-media worthy, or raving to the press about.

Food choices at the Beijing Olympics has won over some athletes

Few athletes raved about their food choices like Team USA's snowboarder, Tessa Maud, who gave the food on offer in her bubble two thumbs up. She tells Insider: "I haven't been finding any issues. The food might be tricky for some people, but there's always something you can eat, something you can find that's going to be better than the cafeteria."

Her solution has been to venture out of the athlete's village and to restaurants within a 10-minute radius of where she is based. "I've been eating food there as well, and that food is insane — the best Chinese food I've ever had, hands down," she said, and as proof, she's been posting images on TikTok. For her, it's about "sweet and sour pork, pork dumplings, spicy tofu, and dan dan noodles."

Over at the athlete's village, Spain's ice dancers Adrian Diaz and Olivia Smart have had their hearts and bellies stolen by hot pot, where raw meats and veg are cooked à la minute in a vat of hot broth. They've even worked out how to flavor what can be a bland dish. Smart tells the Associated Press that: "You just take the sauce the person in front you has taken." 

Other athletes sought out comfort food

But the main courses haven't been the only hits, because German ice hokey player Tom Kuhnhackl saves his compliments for the dessert chef. "I'm a huge dessert guy. I tried all the desserts. All kinds of cakes, all kinds of cookies. They were pretty dynamite," he said, listing red velvet cake, green tea cake, and avocado ice cream as sweets he's added to the list of things he has tried in Beijing (via Associated Press).

While most of the diners went in search of local flavors, Finnish Ice dancers Juulia Turkkila and Matthias Versluis opted to go for something completely different. One of the first things they said they had in China was Pizza Hut, courtesy of the event's official caterers, Yum China. But the skaters said they had another item they wanted to tick off their dining bucket list, too.

Versluis said: "Competition is over for us. It's time for some KFC."