Banana Stand

After a couple weeks when we’ve felt like we have one foot on a banana peel, let’s digress for a moment from driving ourselves bananas with obsessive coverage of whether or not America’s top banana is a few bananas short of a bunch and whether the second banana should take over, not to mention the broader threat that the walking orange you glad you’re not a banana joke who is totally bananas could turn the country into a banana republic, and focus instead on, well, bananas. A lot of bananas, which it turns out are the food of wannabee champions. “The Olympics are all about numbers: 500, the number of meters in a freestyle swim; 20, the maximum-possible points in rhythmic gymnastics; 3 million, the number of bananas the culinary team at Olympic Village think they’ll need over the course of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, which take place over two weeks this summer.” Eater: How to Feed the Olympics.

+ “This summer’s Olympics are expected to be the first with as many female athletes as male ones.” Like all good fights, this one was neither easy nor quick. The excellent John Branch in the NYT (Gift Article): They Called It ‘Improper’ to Have Women in the Olympics. But She Persisted. “Milliat, 100 years after the last Paris Olympics, is finally getting recognition as a pioneer, Billie Jean King of sorts for her age.”

+ “Skateboarding often favors the young. The gold medalists in Tokyo in 2021, when the sport made its Olympic debut, were 22, 19, 18 and 13. An 11-year-old, Zheng Haohao of China, will compete in Paris this summer. So will Andy Macdonald. He’s 50.” NYT (Gift Article): The 50-Year-Old Skateboarder Bound for the Paris Olympics. (I wonder if he’ll be riding on clay wheels.) Plus, ‘I play with happiness’: the table tennis star making her Olympic debut at 58.

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