An Olympic Luger Shares His Favorite “Cheat Day” Meals

updated May 24, 2019
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(Image credit: The Kitchn)

Tucker West decided he wanted to try luge when he watched the 2002 Olympic Winter Games when he was just 6 years old. Since that time, he’s emerged as a top talent for the U.S. national team. His Olympic debut was in 2014 in Sochi, Russia, where he was the youngest American luger to qualify for the games at 18. He also won gold in a team relay for the United States at the first Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2012. West is back this year at the Olympics in Pyeongchang, and has already competed in singles. Although he had a disappointing few runs, and ended up in 26th place, it was so exciting to watch him compete.

We recently had the opportunity to talk to West about what he eats when he’s training, including the pantry ingredients he always has on hand (chocolate sauce!) and the “cheat meals” he can’t get enough of.

1. What are the staples you always have in your pantry?

Peanut butter and chocolate syrup. My favorite snack during the training day is to get a piece of bread and put way more peanut butter on it than you’d think you need, then put a light drizzle of chocolate syrup on it, and fold it over. It has a ton of calories and protein to get you to the next meal.

2. What are the pantry staples everyone who does luge should have in their pantry?

Luge is a gravity sport, so the name of the game is always weight gain. Definitely rice and pasta.

3. Are there things you avoid eating before you compete?

I just try to keep it clean before a competition.

4. What’s your favorite “cheat day” food?

Bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches on a bagel are my all-time favorite meal. I also love burgers. A big burger from Five Guys makes me one of the happiest people in the world. As for desserts, I’m not so much of an ice cream guy, but I do like candy very much. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Mike and Ike’s are my go-to choices.

5. What’s your favorite tool in your kitchen?

After dinner, I usually make a Greek yogurt and fruit smoothie for dessert, so I’d have to say my blender.

Winter Olympics 2018

This year the winter Olympics are being held in Pyeongchang County, South Korea. The opening ceremony is Friday, February 9, and the games end on February 25. You can find the competition schedule here.

Thanks so much for talking with us, Tucker!