If you’ve been training your entire life to complete for your country at the Olympic Games, it’s understandable that after finally getting that out of your system, you may want to blow off some steam and pig the hell out on some food that doesn’t adhere to your strict pre-performance diet plan. So needless to say, the McDonald’s in Olympic Village has been extremely popular since the opening ceremonies. In fact, it may even be too popular because the McNugget purveyor has had to impose a limit on the amount of food Olympians and their coaches can order – a still absurd 20 items or less per person.
Granted, a couple other factors are at play beyond athletes’ desire to finally eat something less healthy. First, food at the McDonald’s in Olympic Village is free for athletes and their coaches. Given the offer of free food, we’ve all probably gone a bit overboard even if we don’t eat tens of thousands of calories a day to maintain our muscle mass. Second, not only is McDonald’s the only fast food chain in Olympic Village, it’s also the only “real” restaurant period. According to the Washington Post, the other options are a “casual dining” spot serving reportedly mediocre Brazilian cuisine or a massive and confusing cafeteria. “If you go at peak times, it’s maybe one of the craziest experiences I’ve ever had,” American rugby player Jessica Javelet told the Post about eating at the cafeteria. And this is a rugby player talking: My guess is she’s not against doing things that are a little crazy.
Despite all this, Olympians still can order more than 20 items if they absolutely feel they must; it just lowers their priority, meaning after waiting in the already ridiculous line that has supposedly been longer than a football field, they’ll be stuck with another wait. Keep in mind though that some of these athletes are the best in the world in events like boxing, judo and fencing: If they want to order more than 20 items, it probably behooves McDonald’s to keep them happy. No one wants to be around a hungry weightlifter with a grudge.