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Weight gain boosts Olympian's performance

Posted Feb 19 2010 12:00am
Have you caught any of the winter Olympic broadcasts this week? I admit it, I’ve been glued to the games every night. I just admire the athletes’ grace, toughness, and dedication, and let’s face it, there’s nothing else on TV.

Check out this New York Times article about USA Olympic ice dancer Tanith Belbin. Like ballerinas and gymnasts, ice dancers sometimes resort to extreme measures in order to stay skinny. Not only did Belbin have to fit into those revealing outfits, but she also figured her partner, Ben Agosto, would be able to lift her more easily the less she weighed. But her insufficient diet left her feeling moody and exhausted.

Then a new coach told her she was too thin and her skating would benefit if she gained 10 pounds. Belbin quit starving herself and started paying attention to nutrition and eating well. She grew stronger, her endurance improved, and she was able to hold aloft positions longer, making Agosto’s job actually easier than before. “It really, really made a difference,” she says.

Sometimes Olympic human interest stories can be a little much, but I found this one inspiring. Belbin and Agosto are scheduled to perform this evening.
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