The 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang begin soon, and to get you in the spirit, we’ve compiled a list of awesome vegan Olympians.
Countless studies have shown that a plant-based diet is perfect for meeting an athlete’s calorie and protein demands. In fact, these Olympians are part of a long list of athletes who’ve reaped the benefits of a plant-based diet. Tennis champ Serena Williams, NBA star JaVale McGee, NFL player David Carter, and many others have excelled on a nutritious vegan diet.
But of course, eating plant-based foods isn’t just great for your health. It also protects the planet and spares farmed animals lives of misery.
Pigs, cows, and chickens at factory farms are treated as mere objects. Their short lives are filled with suffering and pain. They’re subjected to extreme confinement, barbaric mutilations, and violent deaths.
These eight Olympians prove you can thrive on a healthy and compassionate vegan diet.
1. Meagan Duhamel
Canadian figure skater Meagan Duhamel won silver in the 2014 Sochi Olympics. She switched to a plant-based diet after reading a book about its many benefits. She told Huffington Post Canada, “I thought I was just going to do it until the (2010) Olympics, but then I didn’t go to the Olympics, and then I ended up liking it so much, I think I’ll be a vegan for the rest of my life.
2. Seba Johnson
The youngest Alpine ski racer in Olympic history and a vegan since birth, Seba Johnson is a proud supporter of Mercy For Animals.
3. Alexey Voevoda
Russian bobsledder Alexey Voevoda has competed in three Olympics, winning two gold medals in the Sochi Games. “At first, I approached going vegan from a scientific standpoint, he told PETA UK. “However, I then came to have some ethical views about this diet. I love happy, living animals!”
4. Dotsie Bausch
Dotsie Bausch is a committed ethical vegan who competed on the women’s pursuit cycling team for the United States at the 2012 Summer Olympics and won a silver medal. A proud MFA supporter, Bausch now works to educate athletes on the benefits of a vegan diet.
5. Carl Lewis
Carl Lewis has won 10 Olympic medals in track and field, nine of which were gold. In 1991, after trying vegetarianism for a year, Lewis went vegan and had the best athletic year of his career.
6. Murray Rose
Australian swimmer Murray Rose was vegan when he led the sport in the 1950s and ’60s. He set 15 world records and won six Olympic medals, four of which were gold.
7. Ronda Rousey
Ronda Rousey won bronze for judo in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, becoming the first American woman to win a medal in the sport. After her win, she shared that she had done it on a vegan diet.
8. Cam Awesome
Cam Awesome represented the U.S. in boxing at the 2016 Games in Rio. In his Team USA bio, the boxer writes that he’s a “proud vegan and advocate for that lifestyle.”