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Image for article titled International Olympians Describe Their Biggest Obstacles

“I have no idea how to swim.”

Image for article titled International Olympians Describe Their Biggest Obstacles

“My biggest challenge will be getting my surfboard through customs. Do I check it? And is there an extra fee? Can someone help me out here?”

Image for article titled International Olympians Describe Their Biggest Obstacles

“The course is, like, a 7-minute drive from my house, but they’re still making me stay at the Olympic Village. Like, what the fuck?”

Image for article titled International Olympians Describe Their Biggest Obstacles

“I gotta make sure no one knows I’m doping.”

Image for article titled International Olympians Describe Their Biggest Obstacles

“Making sure the judges look up from their phones for five goddamn seconds, so you don’t have to do the dive twice.”

Image for article titled International Olympians Describe Their Biggest Obstacles

“Deciding whether I want to be on a Wheaties box or the new face of Versace.”

Image for article titled International Olympians Describe Their Biggest Obstacles

“The obstacles one faces playing badminton are huge. I—why are you laughing? Please stop. See, this is just one example.”

Image for article titled International Olympians Describe Their Biggest Obstacles

“I gotta remember to wear my mouthguard during these rugby games. I’m already on my fourth set of teeth, and they are starting to get expensive.”

Image for article titled International Olympians Describe Their Biggest Obstacles

“Representing England. It’s just not a country you can feel good about.”

Image for article titled International Olympians Describe Their Biggest Obstacles

“The biggest thing I need to remember is to check for stowaways on my sailboat before heading out onto the water. They can really slow you down.”

Image for article titled International Olympians Describe Their Biggest Obstacles

“I brought 17 Yorkshire puddings in my suitcase, but I’m scared it’s not going to be enough.”

Image for article titled International Olympians Describe Their Biggest Obstacles

“My obstacle is lasting two weeks without dying of utter fucking embarrassment at this shitshow my country insists on putting on.”

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“It’s definitely a cultural adjustment meeting athletes from countries like Japan and the U.S. who believe that they’re free, and just being like, ‘Buddy, who’s gonna tell them?’”

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“My biggest challenge will be finding some real matcha in Japan. I’m not talking about that overpriced fake shit they sell to tourists. I want the real deal—the stuff they use in ceremonies. Oh, and I also want to do well in my events, I guess.”

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“I must fight the constant urge to go nice and slow in the canoe and take in the scenery. Here’s the thing: if you try to enjoy the scenery, you will lose. Yet how much beauty have I passed by and not even noticed it, focused as I am on paddling fast?”

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“Making sure they have blue Gatorade for me. I won’t drink that nasty yellow shit.”

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“I always have to remind myself that my job is to throw the hammer and not get too attached to it.”

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“If I don’t medal, I’m not going to sell any copies of my book. And if I don’t sell my book, I’m not going to have anywhere to park my car, because there are currently 30,000 self-published copies of my book sitting in the garage.”

Image for article titled International Olympians Describe Their Biggest Obstacles

“Remembering all the words to the Shot Putter’s Incantation.”

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“Every time I try to play badminton, someone puts a 20-foot net in my way.”