Focus and determination have fueled U.S. Olympic freestyle wrestler Andy Hrovat’s success on the mat. To reach the level of the wrestlers he admired most—and to earn the chance to represent the U.S. at the Beijing Olympics—Hrovat knew he’d have to follow every aspect of their training, including how to maintain a proper diet.
“I’ve always wanted to be [an Olympic athlete],” Hrovat says. “I’ve tried to copy what all the other Olympians do.”
Hrovat is a monster on the mat. That’s easy to see. Blessed with an abundance of raw talent, he’s been able to count on his natural ability to beat countless opponents. Talent alone, though, isn’t enough to give you an edge when it matters most.
“Toward the end of the season, you’re going to want to be at your best—you want to be your freshest,” Hrovat says. “So, if you’re not dieting, if you’re not disciplined…guys just fade at the end of the year when you should be at your best.”
Hrovat prefers to keep his nutrition plan simple, usually opting for pasta and chicken the night before a match. “I’m not the best with nutrition,” he says, “but I don’t really eat unhealthy. I eat a lot of chicken and steak and meats. I don’t eat a lot of breads or carbs. I like to eat stuff that makes me feel good.”
The other key, and one the three-time All-American didn’t grasp until after he graduated from the University of Michigan, is staying hydrated. “I didn’t realize how important drinking water is,” Hrovat says. “I don’t drink juices, and I try not to drink any sports drinks. I stick to water and green tea and stay really hydrated.”