How Discus Thrower Tavis Bailey Eats for the Olympics

(Image credit: Tavis Bailey/Instagram)

The Olympics are here — neither Zika, nor heat wave, not presidential impeachment, nor plumbing woes could keep this age-old competition from moving forward. We’re planning marathon Olympic-watching sessions, of course, but all these amazing athletes got us thinking about what it takes to fuel such terrific prowess — in the pool, on the field, in the ring. We asked 10 athletes to share what they eat on a daily basis. Here’s what we found out.

Tavis Bailey

Age: 24
Hometown: Kannapolis, NC
Event: Discus Throw
Training Regimen: Throws for up to 2 hours 3-4 times a week; weightlifting for 2 hours 2-3 times a week; running once a week.

Tavis Bailey is the Olympian everyone should be rooting for. The 24-year-old discus thrower is a first-time Olympian and completely unsponsored. That means he works a full-time job, shops at Sam’s Club, and is completely thrilled about purchasing his first home.

He’s an everyman — except he’s using his vacation days to compete with the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Team in Rio. And unlike the rest of us, his post-work ritual doesn’t involve the couch, cocktails, or chilling with Netflix.

Tavis’ Daily Eating Routine

Tavis starts every day with two packets of instant oatmeal, which he makes at work. “I have mastered making oatmeal from the watercooler and microwave,” he says.

He adds that working a full-time job has helped keep his eating in check and on schedule.”I eat my breakfast and lunch at the same time every day, my snacks at the same time every day. My day is really regimented.”

Most of his lunches and dinners are prepared on Sundays in a pressure cooker, which Tavis says has been one of his best investments. His go-to meal is shredded pork made in the pressure cooker, with sweet potatoes and green beans.

Sometimes, he will mix things up with chicken or fish. “I try not to blow too much on food because I spend a lot on food as it is already,” he says. “But once a month, I’ll have salmon, tilapia, or whatever is on special that week.”

If that doesn’t seem like a lot of food for an Olympian, it’s because it’s really not. The above menu just wasn’t enough to fuel Tavis through his late-day training sessions. He consulted a nutritionist and found out that he was actually calorie-deficient. Which is why, for now, he’s added in a post-work meal, which may include Greek yogurt and a granola bar, along with a bowl of organic oats and milk, a protein shake, or protein bread with ground peanuts and honey.

Favorite Cheat Food: Wings

Although he likes his sweets on occasion, Tavis says one of his favorite foods are wings. “I love wings… hot wings, all kinds of wings,” he says. “That isn’t as much of a cheat food, though!”

Rio Must-Eat: Anything Goes

Many of the athletes don’t get the chance to experiment outside of the Olympic Village, but Tavis seems fine with that. “I know they’re going to treat us well,” he says. “I’m just looking forward to being down there.”

Watch Tavis Bailey compete in Rio, when the Men’s Discus Throw starts on Friday, August 12.