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USA's 2016 Rio Olympic Gladiators: Jake Dalton

The gymnast obsessively logs meals and eats just enough to feel “light and strong."
Miller Mobley


Age: 24
Hometown: Sparks, NV

Zen Competitor: A veteran of Team USA’s 2012 squad, Dalton has learned to throw expectations out the window before competing. “Anything can happen at the Olympics,” he says. “You’ve just gotta roll with what comes your way.” 

All Heart: During training sessions, Dalton preps for his floor routine by kick-starting his heart rate for endurance and stamina. “When I go to compete and I’m feeling a little nervous, it’s like, ‘OK, I’ve been able to do this in workouts—now go do the same thing,’” he says.

Fuel Junkie: Dalton swears by his nutrition log, where he religiously records his macro-nutrient intake and how his body reacts to foods. The goal, he says, is to eat to feel “light and strong.”

The Man With the Move: At the 2015 World Cup, Dalton nailed an original maneuver for the parallel bars—a backward roll with a half-tuck to a hang—that he’d created himself, and the “Dalton” was entered into the International Gymnastics Federation’s official codex of gymnastics moves. “Now I have a skill that will be part of gymnastics forever,” he says, “which is really, really cool.” 

To learn more about all Olympic hopefuls, visit The Rio Olympics begin August 5.

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