🚣♂️ The Evolution of Olympic Preparation: From Berlin 1936 to Today 🚣♂️
As someone who has felt the exhilaration of Olympic gold around my neck, I couldn’t help but be captivated by the preparation methods used by the American men’s eight in “The Boys in the Boat.” During their journey to the 1936 Berlin Olympics, the coach advised them to do nothing. While this strategy ultimately led them to victory, it’s a stark contrast to how athletes, including myself, prepare today.
In my lead-up to Olympic gold, the idea of doing “nothing” was unthinkable. Keeping the “engine lubed,” so to speak, was vital if rowing was not a training possibility. . Light jogs, yoga stretches, and visualization exercises were part of my regimen to ensure that both body and mind were in sync for the performance of a lifetime.
Notably, one rower from the 1936 team, Don Hume, fell ill during the journey. Could more active preparation methods have made a difference? We’ll never know. But today, athletes like me leave nothing to chance. We ensure our “body engines” are primed and ready so that when the moment comes, we’re not just participants—we’re contenders.