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Blood, sweat and Rio gold for Mahé Drysdale

18 July, 2016

Blood, sweat and Rio gold for Mahé Drysdale on road to the Olympics

The hard work of current Olympic champion and five-time World champion rower Mahé Drysdale is proof that Olympians are made, not born.

As the Olympics ambassador for POWERADE, the official sports drink of the 2016 Olympic Games, Mahé is preparing to hit the water in Rio next month in a bid to win his second consecutive gold medal in the single sculls, which will make him the eldest in 116 years to win the title at 37-years-old.

While Mahé’s height and athleticism paint him as a born sportsman, his rise to rowing royalty has not been without hard graft and sacrifice. In fact, Mahé is a walking example of a study that found effort, practice and learning were far more important than natural talent when it comes to elite sports[1].

Rowing didn’t come calling until Mahé was in his early 20s, making him a relatively late starter by Olympic standards.

“I first decided to give rowing a crack while I was at university studying to be an accountant, albeit unsuccessfully coming in second to last and missing another race entirely.

“I stuck it out because I enjoyed it and I knew that if I worked hard enough I could make a go of it,” Mahé says.

“You hear about these biomechanically gifted athletes, like Michael Phelps who has a massive wingspan and feet like flippers, but without hard work and the right attitude he would be no different to anyone else.”

Mahé is testament that what you put in is what you get out, with his gruelling training regime leading him to become one of the most decorated rowers in the world. He says the right nutrition has played a large part in his success so far.

“I quickly realised that if I wanted to compete at the top level, the training was one thing, but I also needed to be fuelling my body with the right stuff. Pies and chips weren’t going to get me a gold medal. I also needed to look at how I was hydrating.

Research shows 90 percent of all New Zealand adults participate in some form of sport[2], and for many the addition of electrolytes and carbohydrates to their drink will help them to get more out of their performance.

“The amount of time spent out in the boat means I lose a lot of fluid through sweat. It is important for me to replenish that with carbohydrate and electrolytes that are in balance with my body’s natural fluids and give me the energy to keep going. If it tastes good it’s even easier to get it down quickly and that’s where POWERADE comes in,” Mahé says.

To celebrate 24 years of POWERADE as the official sports drink of the most viewed sports event in the world, POWERADE has also released a limited edition Rio Gold flavour.

Jodie Timmins, POWERADE Brand Manager, said: "POWERADE has been synonymous with sporting excellence since it was launched at the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games and it has been keeping athletes hydrated ever since. Our goal now is to inspire our athletes to perform to their best in Rio.”

Mahè adds, “We could be getting some pretty warm days in Rio which makes hydration even more important. Most of us have had bad race-day experiences where we haven’t kept up our fluids. The headaches, the fatigue and the slowness mean there’s no way you can perform at your best. POWERADE Rio Gold will help give us that edge when we need it.”

POWERADE Rio Gold is now available in stores. Get in quick to try the limited edition flavour and show your support for Mahé and the rest of our Kiwi athletes.


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