The London Summer Olympics are nearly three months from now with the opening ceremony on July 27. However, the training several U.S. Olympians have done with the US Navy SEALs — 10 U.S. teams in Olympic sports have been through at least one session in recent years — is an arduous, indelible part of their preparation.
“I guess what I took away from that was the human body can always achieve more than we believe. And that's controlled purely by our minds." US Olympic gold medallist Garrett Weber-Gale
The fatigue is so consuming the SEALs advise them at certain points to focus only on their next step — to ignore the discomfort of the elements, the aches shooting through their muscles, the doubts plaguing their minds, and to simply put one foot in front of the other.
"You can't buy what they're going to teach them in four hours," says Wendy Borlabi, a sport psychologist with the U.S. Olympic Committee, who adds the training is especially beneficial to athletes who compete in individual sports. "They're learning what they're doing is bigger than themselves," Borlabi says. "It's different than when they're training for the Olympics, which is all centred on them. "The growth, I think, is astronomical."
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