One thing that may have catapulted snowboarder Hannah Teter onto the Olympic podium for the second time in her career is her diet. Hannah — who scored a silver in the women's halfpipe — tells People that she credits turning vegetarian for making her a better athlete: "I started that [a vegetarian diet] last year and feel stronger mentally and physically, and springier."
Even though Teter has given up meat, she still gets plenty of protein. For breakfast, the snowboarding star has a power smoothie; dinner is often a veggie stir-fry with a side of quinoa. Quinoa is a great replacement for white rice and a staple among many vegetarians I know because it's exploding with protein and fiber. Though not a raw foodie, Hannah does admit to not cooking her food too long,"because you lose what's good in the food."
Besides a responsible diet, Hannah is also doing her part to live eco-consciously. And while I do my best to recycle, reuse, and reclaim, Hannah's taking it a step further by moving into a yurt on a parent's property in Vermont. (A yurt is sort of like a tent, except stronger and more weatherproof. It's portable and doesn't rely on a ton of materials for its construction.) Living green is not foreign to Hannah — her dad produces maple syrup on the family's property, and her mother keeps a huge garden and also tends fruit trees. If all goes as planned, Hannah hopes to be living off the grid by relying only on solar and wind power.
It was nail-biting watching the men's figure skating competition this year. In the end, Evan Lysacek took home the gold — a decision that wasn't without controversy. Many argue that at its core, figure skating is not a sport, in part because the winner is determined by a group of judges. Often, the judges disagree and it's questionable how impartial they can really be — remember the huge judging scandal that plagued the 2002 Winter games? Try as they may to revamp the scoring system, there is always controversy: some felt that Evgeni Plushenko should have skated away with gold, while others said Johnny Weir was cheated out of a better standing.
Some say that the only way to have a fair Olympics is to get rid of any sport that relies on judges, turning them into demonstration sports instead. That way, medal standings are determined solely by an athlete's performance: who crosses the finish line first and which team scores the most points. No one doubted the gold medal victories achieved by Lindsey Vonn, Hannah Kearney, or Bode Miller — it was clear as day that each of them finished first.
What do you think . . .
It feels like the Olympics are just getting warmed up, but believe it or not, we're coming down the homestretch already! This year has already been filled with iconic moments, but the cast of The Office recently took a break to share their favorite memories of games over time.
When it comes to the Winter games, figure skating has always been near and dear to my heart — I have vivid memories of cheering on Tara Lipinski (she skated to the theme from Anastasia!) and a few years later I watched with friends as Sarah Hughes skated to victory. Plus, I think everyone remembers the Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding scandal. What are your most memorable moments of all time?
Intrigued by your fave Olympian's life off the podium? Take this quiz and see if you're up to date on who's dating who, who's designing panties, and more!
Watching the Olympics is keeping me up at night! I am so into the Winter games and especially love the skiing, snowboarding, and skating events. Seeing Lindsey Vonn speed down the mountain and Gretchen Bleiler flip around the half-pipe totally inspires me to get out and play in the snow. What about you?
I love the Olympics. I watch the personal stories and I am riveted. The excitement of competition never gets old. I feel proud of our athletes and country. I even cried today at this commercial. I've been thinking about the reasons that we as mothers do what we feel compelled to do for our children. We start them in school at 18 months. Make sure they have swimming lessons. And gymnastics. And soccer. And tennis. Even if they don't feel like going. We agonize about our decisions and then wonder and worry about the effects of our choices. Is it just a form of torture?
Why do we (or maybe just me) feel the need to push them? Is it so they can start early in the competition of life? Is it to build confidence and social skills? Is it so we can live vicariously through them and give them every privilege which we didn't have? Is it to make sure that they don't feel "left behind"? Do you ever dream (okay, secretly) that your child excels in a sport and will be an olympian? (PS my daughter was placed in ADVANCED 3 year old gymnastics and I imagined this.) Is that the goal? Is anything short of that failure?
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Most athletes compete at the Olympics for the pride and glory first and foremost, but it's no shock to anyone that winning gold medals means more money in the bank. Experts say 2009's big-time earners Lindsey Vonn, Bode Miller, and Shaun White will collect even more gold this year because of their new fancy necklaces. Do you know how much they previously pulled in through endorsements?Take the Quiz
In a fun video, People asked a bunch of celebs what sport they'd like to compete in if they were Winter Olympians. The big winner? Curling! Although curling is an old-school game, it's relatively new to the Olympics, debuting in 1992. It's also seen a more rowdy crowd this year: much like you'd see at a football game, I've spotted rows of shirtless men in the stands wearing body paint of their team's colors. Celebs like Matthew Morrison of Glee, Kelly Ripa, and Megan Mullally all say they want to "sweep" some stones across the ice.
Some of the other celebs in the video include Jerry O'Connell, Valerie Bertinelli, and Robin Thicke. My favorite is Project Runway's Tim Gunn, who says he'd be a champion in the "hot chocolate drinking competition."
If I had the kind of talent these athletes do, I'd be torn between riding a snowboard halfpipe or being fearless enough for alpine skiing. How about you — what Winter Olympic sport would you compete in?
"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars."
— Les Brown, band leader
Looking for more motivation? Check out all of my words that move you.
To see Gretchen fly among the stars, just read more