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What’s It Like To Be An Olympic Swimmer?

Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

This weekend, the eyes of the world will be on London as the best of the best compete in the Summer Olympic Games.  One of my favorite events to watch is the swimming.  When Michael Phelps competed at the Games four years ago, I was glued to the screen. 

What kind of diet do you eat to swim like that?  Is it hard to hold your breathe?  Check out some of America’s top swimmers who will be going for the gold in London.

Cullen Jones, 28, is the only African American swimmer on the US National Team.  He thinks of swimming not just as a sport but as a life skill.  Look for Jones in the 50 meter freestyle.  He told Glamour that for that event, most of the swimmers don’t breathe.  ” For my event, the 50 meter free, which is just one lap, the majority of us don’t breathe.  I tell you, it’s not easy!  I have to practice.  In fact, I do the same techniques that free divers use. ”

Brendan Hansen, 30, will be competing in the 100 and 200 meter breaststroke.  He says the toughest part about his sport is getting up early.  He swims four hours each day for two years to train for events that last 59 seconds and less than two minutes.  Hansen doesn’t just focus on the race but the journey it takes to get there.

Ryan Lochete, 27, will try to beat Michael Phelps in the 200 meter freestyle and the 200 meter individual medley.  Check out what he eats for breakfast.  He needs between 6000 and 8000 calories a day.   A typical breakfast would be five eggs, a bagel, fruit, oatmeal, pancakes and French toast.

Nathan Adrian, 23, is the top rated sprinter in the US.  He’ll be competing in the 50 and 100 meter freestyle.  He recently competed in a race where his suit ripped all the way up the back.  He couldn’t stop the meet, so he dove in and finished the race.

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