Ancient Olympians Ate Testicles To Win Gold
Blood-doping, human growth hormones, steroids, Red Bull. Ancient Olympians didn’t have the variety of performance-enhancing substances that today’s Olympic athletes have available to them.
So, they ate raw animal testicles. Really.
That’s right. The earliest Olympians would gnaw on the testicles of various animals, which they believed gave them an edge in the athletic competitions (not to mention a serious need for a breath mint). Martin Polley, an Olympic historian at Britain’s Southampton University, explained that the ancient pre-game snack had another meaning, too:
“(Eating animal testicles) probably (was) also seen as a sign of masculinity,” Polley said.
Not for the animals, of course. Later Olympians used coca leaves, cocaine, alcohol and other substances to help them win, while Thomas Hicks used raw egg, strychnine and shots of brandy to win the 1904 Olympic marathon.
Hmmm. Now, you need several shots of booze just to get through the Opening Ceremonies.