Why Are Olympians Gorging on Big Macs and Fries in Rio?

The Golden Arches seem to be as popular as gold medals in Rio de Janeiro. Find out why so many top athletes are turning to McDonald’s.

Australian badminton player Sawan Serasinghe didn’t win gold — or any other medal — at the Rio Olympics. But the 22-year-old made headlines for posting a picture on Facebook of a McDonald’s “junk food” feast he said he planned to eat following a match loss.

“Now it’s time to eat some junk food after months of eating clean!” he wrote next to his super-sized meal — which included a Big Mac, a Quarter Pounder with cheese, two McChicken sandwiches, two hamburgers, 40 Chicken McNuggets, six large fries, six brownies, a smoothie and a bottle of water.

It turns out Serasinghe is just one of many Olympians who are eating at the Golden Arches in Rio de Janeiro. According to The Washington Post:

“The one constant in the Olympic Village, the collection of high-rise apartment towers where some 10,000 athletes, coaches and staff live during the Games, is that there will be a line out the door of the McDonald’s. Morning and night, in blazing sun or stiff wind, come stray bullet or whiff of sewage, the Olympians will be waiting for their fries.”

Olympians are gorging on McDonald’s food for a couple of reasons. First, it’s free, at least for athletes and coaches, the Post reports. Second, with limited food options in the Olympic Village — there is a cafeteria and a “casual dining” Brazilian restaurant — the athletes don’t have much choice.

The Olympic Village McDonald’s is reportedly always busy, with a long, snaking line of hungry athletes waiting for their Big Macs and fries. To get people in and out the door with food quicker, Mickey D’s also recently implemented a 20-item maximum order per customer.

Brian Curtis, a reporter covering the Rio Olympics for NBC-5 in Dallas, tweeted this shortly after the Games began:

“One of the most popular places in Athletes Village. Line out the door @McDonalds #Rio2016”

McDonald’s has been an official sponsor of the Olympic Games since 1976.

Did you know that Rio’s Olympic athletes are fueling their bodies with fast food meals from McDonald’s? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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