Diets can be of paramount importance to a sportsman – Novak Djokovic’s grand slam success is based on a strict gluten free one, WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley defeated Manny Pacquiao on a trusted vegan one, and Usain Bolt at the 2008 Beijing Olympics…he powered to three gold medals fuelled by Chicken McNuggets, a total he now estimates to have reached 1,000 during his 10 days in the Chinese capital.
The Jamaican revealed in his soon-to-be released autobiography, Faster than Lightning, his passion started with a box of 20, yes 20, of the golden chicken treats, but with his training going into overdrive, he soon needed far more, up to 100 a day, and even turned to an apple pie to take the edge off.
“At first I ate a box of 20 for lunch, then another for dinner,” he wrote. “The next day I had two boxes for breakfast, one for lunch and then another couple in the evening. I even grabbed some fries and an apple pie to go with it.”
The sprinter, who lit up the games, breaking three world records, claimed he only began eating the nuggets because he simply found Chinese food “odd”.
But before you get any bright ideas – a 20 piece box of the crispy snacks totals 940 calories and 59 grams of fat. So if Bolt, then 22, was putting away 100 a day, that is nearly 5,000 calories in each of the 10 days he was in Beijing, where he wasn’t just burning up the track – he was also burning some serious calories.