Even by the standards of the world’s biggest competitive sports event, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games were remarkable. For one thing, they took place in 2021, after delays due to concerns over Covid-19. A year later, pandemic restrictions were still in place, and fans were not allowed to crowd the spectator stands. Perhaps because of these less-than-ideal conditions, Olympic viewership, too, hit an all-time low.
Still, despite the subdued interest around Tokyo 2020, one new rule did cause a buzz: For the first time ever in the 125-year history of the Olympics Games, athletes have been permitted to use cannabidiol (CBD) products. Formerly deemed as a banned substance along with other natural and synthetic cannabinoids — or chemicals derived from cannabis — by the World Anti-Doping Agency, CBD was removed from this list in 2017. In the run-up to Tokyo 2020, many athletes have come out to claim that they use CBD in their training.
When it comes to CBD, there are no longer any grey areas about whether it’s okay to use in competition. No wonder so many Olympians are turning to CBD to aid in rest, recovery, and relief from pain. Although they couldn’t carry it to Tokyo 2020 due to regulations on transport across borders, CBD has become a major part of their lifestyle. Here are three Olympic athletes who champion CBD-based wellness:
Football star Megan Rapinoe captained the US women’s football team to a gold-medal victory in the London 2015 Games, and a bronze finish at Tokyo 2020. She’s also led the team to two golds and a silver in the FIFA World Cup, besides winning a Golden Boot, Golden Ball, and Best FIFA Women’s Player Award in 2019.
Clearly, it’s hard to talk about America’s rise in football without talking about Rapinoe. The footballer is used to hitting the headlines for other reasons too, including her outspoken LGBT activism and support for Black Lives Matter. Lately, Rapinoe has become an advocate for the cause of CBD. Along with her twin sister Rachael - also a professional footballer - she’s started Mendi, her own brand of CBD products.
In an interview with Forbes, the Rapinoe twins discuss the dark side of traditional painkillers. Rachael says, “I come from a long history of drug addiction in my family, particularly heroin and opiates. So, I have an interesting emotional relationship with drugs.” Unlike potentially harmful prescription meds, CBD is not addictive, nor does it give you a high.
Rapinoe’s sports recovery regimen features CBD front and centre, from ingesting CBD candies to rubbing on CBD-infused creams. “CBD has become part of my all-natural recovery system that I use throughout the day to help with pain and inflammation, stabilize my mood and get better sleep,” she explains. “I use them right after training, pop in a gummy or gel capsule for pain and to calm me down, then another gummy in the afternoon to relax, then the night tincture right before bed for better sleep. It's truly part of my entire day.”
For a world-class performer like Rapinoe, pain management that comes with harmful side effects is simply not worth it. To soothe both your mind and body, keep a travel-friendly vial of Mukoomi CBD oil on hand to dose throughout the day.
Sue Bird is best known as a WNBA legend and a four-time Olympic gold medallist on the US women’s basketball team. But some sports fans will also recognise her as Rapinoe’s fiancée - one half of an athletic power couple that seems destined to keep on winning. On one hand, it’s no surprise that Bird, like Rapinoe, endorses the benefits of CBD; the 40-year-old has been in the game for two decades, and has surely picked up every trick in the training manual along the way.
But Bird is also part of the WNBA, a league where CBD is still banned. “I believe in CBD,” she said. “Even though it is on the ban list for the WNBA, it is not for the Olympics so there are pockets of time where I can use it regularly.”
Just as Rapinoe bemoaned not being able to access CBD during the Olympics, it’s unfortunate that an MVP like Bird can’t use CBD for recovery all the time. Since the cannabinoid has been clubbed in with counterparts like THC, the WNBA rules have not yet caught up with the needs of its athletes.
“I’ve seen the positive effects,” says Bird. “For me, it comes in the form of sleep, for the most part. There are definitely days when I’m feeling anxious or just need to calm down, I take it. But for the most part, I use it for sleep and it has been amazing.”
Sleep is one of the key factors in health and fitness results - and as we tend to focus only on diet and exercise, it’s easy to overlook. Squeeze a few drops of Mukoomi CBD oil under your tongue before bed for a peaceful sleep that will support your efforts in the kitchen and the gym.
Compared to her fellow Olympians, Lolo Jones is a serious overachiever. The American athlete competes in not one, but two events at the highest level. After bobsledding at the Winter Games, there’s no summer holiday for Jones, who also competes in track and field. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Jones missed out on a gold in hurdling by a hair. Since Tokyo 2020 was pushed back, Jones didn’t have time to train for her usual 100m hurdle event. Instead she’s pushing to qualify for the US bobsledding team at the 2022 Winter Games - a return to Beijing that could be the stuff of Olympics legend.
For 38-year-old Jones, the process of transforming her body from a bobsledder to a hurdler and back again can be punishing. Jones says of her CBD use, “I need all the help I can get. When I wake up in the morning, I feel like an 80-year-old sometimes. I’ve aged in dog years.” She struggles with whiplash from a bobsled crash, along with the aches and pains of exercising to be in peak condition. Jones credits CBD oil for her improved recovery from the toll of training.
Soothe your tired muscles after training like Jones does, with a dropper of Mukoomi CBD oil in your post-workout smoothie. The pure hemp oil base makes it easy to add while still enjoying your favourite flavour.
Rapinoe, Bird, and Jones are seasoned professionals, far from the first stage of their careers. In past Olympics, they might well have been written off as “too old” to meet the demands of competing with athletes decades their junior. But with the help of gentle and effective recovery through a CBD routine, each of them has managed to go beyond ageist barriers to more glory than ever. They have proven their place as Olympians who will go down in history, no matter their age.