Utah dairy supplies milk for Team USA speedskaters in Beijing
One part of traveling internationally many people love is getting to try new foods.
For Olympic athletes, though, they’re used to a strict diet, and shouldn’t necessarily change their routines.
Their meals are very important, and with all the restrictions of not being able to go out in Beijing, it’s even tougher to find what you need. For example, milk.
Athletes drink milk all the time for recovery and carbohydrates.
US Speedskating, the team that’s based in Kearns, wasn’t sure they could get the same quality of milk in Beijing, so they reached out to Utah dairy farmers for help.
Every single morning, dairy farmers have work to do.
Cows don’t take a break on the weekends, and neither can Jackson Smith.
“It’s not as bad as people make it out to be,” said Jackson Smith, owner of Smith’s Cream Pitcher Jerseys. “It’s actually a pretty dang good life.”
Smith and his family run Smith’s Cream Pitcher Jerseys in Lewiston. Their dairy operation milks about 1,700 cows, and, along with other Cache County dairy farms, feel like their milk is among the best in the world.
“They all try and do the best job they can so that the consumers get the very best product that they can get in the end,” Smith said.
And if that quality is good enough for them, it’s good enough for US Speedskating.
“It’s this, this perfectly packaged recovery drink, so we’re big on milk,” said Dr. Jen Day, sports dietician for US Speedskating.
Day is in charge of making sure the speedskaters are doing everything right when it comes to nutrition and recovery after training or big races.
“If you think about the stress and strain on their bodies, and all the repair that needs to be happening continuously, nutrition is what really supports that. So, it’s a big deal,” she said.
And milk is such a big deal for the skaters.
The team worked with Dairy West and Gossner Foods in Logan, which gets milk from Utah dairy farmers, to ship 5,000 units of it to Beijing, just before the Olympics. That way, the quality of milk the athletes drink is exactly what they know.
“Chocolate milk is one of my favorite foods,” US Short Track Speedskater Julie Letai said laughing.
For Letai, having the milk she’s used to drinking is one less thing to worry about as she focuses on these Games.
“It gives us the fuel that we need and the consistency,” she said. “Also, with a long shelf life, that will really help us stay consistent during our training.”
That means, if one of our Team USA speedskaters win a medal, there’s a good chance that one of Smith’s cows helped.
“Heck yeah! Yeah!” Smith cheered.
And that leaves a great taste in his mouth.
“At least be drinking some of the milk, some of the, some of the chocolate milk when they get it. Yeah,” Smith said laughing.
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