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Meet Rise Bar Athlete: Oluseyi Smith – Olympic Runner

We had the chance to chat with Rise Bar athlete and Olympic runner Oluseyi Smith who told us more about himself and his training for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio! Read on the learn more about Oluseyi and find out which Rise Bar flavor he loves to snack on after training.

Rise Bar (RB) – Tell us about yourself and your Olympic history.

Oluseyi Smith (OS) – I am 26 years old and have been representing Canada in Track and Field since 2003. In 2010 I graduated from university in the United Kingdom with a MSc degree in Renewable Energy Technology. I have been a full-time athlete since I graduated and spend most of my time focusing on my running. I train six days a week with usually 4 hours a day on the track and a few more hours spent in therapy or stretching. In my free time, my training partners and I like to relax in different ways. What works best for me is a mixture of good TV shows (I’m a medium-core trekkie!), movies, books or just gossiping about track.

London 2012 was my first Olympic games and I came very close to a Cinderella ending in the men’s 4x100 relay. Now that London is in the past, I'm preparing for Rio 2016 and also considering taking up invitations to spend a few months with the Canadian Bobsleigh Team to potentially represent Canada at Sochi 2014.

RB – What do you love most about your sport?

OS – What I love most about my sport is the sense of achievement you get from success. It is not only an individual sport, but 100% objective as you race against the clock. I love the travel, meeting new people, health benefits, and most of all the feeling you get when you're running at full speed and are just in the zone.

RB – What challenges have you faced and how do you stay motivated to overcome them?

OS – Like any amateur sport, the biggest challenges are financial. Living off an inconsistent income makes "enjoying every moment" difficult. Before London 2012, my biggest motivation that helped me overcome this and many other challenges was the drive to compete at the Olympic games. Post London, my motivation is to return to the Olympic stage and claim the medal that slipped through my fingers.

RB – What is your favorite Rise Bar flavor? How do you incorporate Rise Bar with your training?

OS – My favorite Rise Bar flavor is the Honey Almond Protein+ Bar. Thanks to the high protein and carb content, it is a perfect snack to have during or immediately after training to replenish depleted energy reserves and hold me till I get home and eat a full meal.

RB- Tell us about training for any upcoming races or events.

OS – The BIG event in 2013 is the World Championships in Moscow. Everyone who is anyone in track and field will be there! Alongside the world championships, there are the Francophone Games (all the French-speaking countries in the world), which will take place in September in Nice and Monaco, France. Between these two massive events, there are many small meets that are used to sharpen race plans. However, the Canadian Championships in Track and Field is the annual event that all Canadian athletes MUST attend to even qualify for any international teams. These championships are late June and are everyone’s focus at the moment.

RB – What is your diet like? What favorite foods help fuel your workouts?

OS – I like to think I have a very simple, but complex diet. It is basically meat and fruit/vegetables. To keep myself from getting bored and binging on the closest bakery, I try and rotate through as many variations as I can. I cycle through beef, pork, chicken, lamb and fish. I eat too many different kinds of fruit and vegetables to name, so I'll simply say that I have many different colors on my plate at meal times! Yogurt and grapes are my go to snack in-between meals, and chickpeas, quinoa, lentils and beans are also items I throw into the mix as well.

RB- What mantra or favorite quote helps keep you going?

OS – I have 2 quotes that have stuck with me since my days in college.

1) Only 24 hour athletes have success.
2) Pressure is opportunity. 

My college coach was the one who introduced me to both those quotes, so I have to give him the credit for them. The first quote reminds me that I can't be lazy in my sport; I can't lie to myself and think that a shortcut here or there will go unpunished at the finish line.

The second keeps me calm and focused whenever I'm in a situation where I don't want my nerves to take control of me. The more pressure in a situation, the more opportunity there is for me to do something special. Therefore I always welcome pressure!

 

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