PYEONGCHANG, Feb. 8 (Korea Bizwire) – Athletes are eating like champions at the PyeongChang Olympic villages with competition set to begin later this week, with some eating up to 12 burgers in a single meal.
The cafeterias at the athletes’ villages have turned into an international food expo, with hundreds of kitchen staff including 180 chefs, 40 bakers and 15 nutritionists providing a total of 420 kinds of dishes to cater to winter athletes from around the world.
Running 24 hours a day, up to 20 tons of over 1,000 types of ingredients are used and prepared in the kitchen behind the cafeterias at the athletes’ villages.
Around 1.8 times more food is being consumed at the PyeongChang Olympic Village than the Gangneung Olympic Village, according to an official from Shinsegae Food, an affiliate of Korean retail giant Shinsegae Group, which was tasked with serving nearly 10,000 athletes and supporting staff during the Winter Olympics.
Nearly 3,900 people are staying at the athletes village in PyeongChang, one of the two locations, while around 2,900 people are calling the village in Gangneung home for the next couple of weeks.
Even after doing the math, food consumption per head is higher in PyeongChang – and the reason for the discrepancy lies in the type of sports played by athletes staying at each village.
Athletes competing in snow sports, such as ski and bobsleigh, are staying in PyeongChang, while the Gangneung location accommodates ice sports athletes instead.
While athletes competing in ice sports such as figure skaters and speed skaters keep an eye on their weight and often diet to improve their speed, snow sports athletes are typically less concerned about what they eat, as many aren’t significantly affected by added weight, with the exception of skiers.
Bobsledders, for instance, are known for consuming huge amounts of food, as weight is directly linked to the speed of the sleigh.
“Some bobsledders finish 12 burgers in a single meal,” an official at the cafeteria said.
Popular food items include beef, chicken and eggs, all of which are an excellent source of protein, with 400 kilograms of beef and chicken consumed every day at the PyeongChang Olympic Village alone.
Freshly baked bread has also been a hit among athletes.
“At previous Winter Games, bread was baked elsewhere and delivered, yet we are offering freshly baked bread for the first time, and it has been well received among people from countries where bread is a staple food,” the official said.