Olympic Athletes’ Weird Pre-Event Rituals

Photo: Imago/REX/Shutterstock.
Most of us have rituals or routines that might not make much sense. Whether it’s wearing a certain t-shirt because it has good vibes, preferring to use the second bathroom stall in a public toilet rather than any of the others, or waiting at the precise same spot on the train platform every morning, things like this make us feel safe, and help us make our world feel manageable, like we’re in control.
However, some people have jobs that can make you feel very out of control – such as pro athletes. When you have to run really fast against other really fast runners, or throw a 4 kilogram metal ball really far, the world must seem very scary. Things could so easily go wrong in a split second and in that split second you have little say over what happens, no matter how hard you’ve trained – it’s little wonder that many of the athletes competing at the Rio Olympics this summer need a few rituals of their own to feel grounded and secure. Here, we’ve rounded up some of the superstitions that Olympic athletes use to manage the stress…

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