What’s it like to train for the Winter Olympics? To compete as part of Team USA? Team Ribose member Billy Demong traveled to Sochi, Russia to represent the U.S. in the Nordic Combined events. He recently told Bioenergy Ribose about his experience.
“Being at the Olympics is not only a life goal, but it is a rare time in an athlete’s life where you get to prioritize feeling good,” he said. “The training is over. The peak has been attained. It is really about doing the little things each and every day that allow you to be and feel your very best.”
The Nordic Combined Team, along with the U.S Alpine Ski Team and the U.S. Snowboard Team, stayed at a hotel near the ski jumps. “We were a little spoiled. We had chefs from the U.S. Committee cooking for us, and a gym filled with everything we could want for a work out.”
But surprisingly, Demong did not spend most of his time training. “I trained a minimal amount in order to stay in peak condition. While that was less than two hours per day, nearly half of the training I did in Sochi was at maximal intensity. I spent a great deal of time doing contrast baths (hot/cold), stretching and relaxing. I know that sounds crazy, but at that level you are really trying to allow the years of training to reach the highest pinnacle by backing off.”
Demong’s preparation also extended to his diet. “I made very sure to stick to my nutritional routine. I took my full dose of Bioenergy Ribose, Beta-Alanine and other supplements to ensure I would not miss anything on race day. I have found that D-Ribose reduces my training fatigue and has really helped me gain an even keel in day-to-day recovery. That was certainly true at the Olympics. I felt my very best, I raced well and had I jumped a bit farther I know I would have been in podium contention.”
He explained why this consistency is important. “That’s the tough part of combined events, one discipline can set you up or take you out for another. Especially being in an outdoor sport like Nordic Combined, I have become used to (as much as one can) the reality that wind, snow, rain or another extraneous factor can severely influence performance. That’s why I choose to focus on the variables I can control, whether it be training, nutrition, equipment or something else.
“I know that I can bring my A-game on any day with the help of tried-and-true mental and physical routines. From experience, I know that the difference between 1st and 30th is far closer than what results will ever show.”
For Demong the highlight of the Olympics, in lieu of a medal, was spending time with his family. “The experiences of chasing my son around Russia, and enjoying dinner out with my wife, parents and sister, were really special. Having previously won a gold medal, I can honestly say two things:
1. I would change nothing about how I prepared. I felt amazing on competition day, and I know that mentally and physically I was in the right place.
2. Jumping on the bed with my son, Liam, after a disappointing finish felt nearly as good as winning and reminded me of what is truly important.
Bioenergy Ribose is proud of how Billy Demong represented the U.S. during the 2014 Winter Olympics. We look forward to cheering him on during his next round of competitions.