When we think about the Olympics, profuse sweating and bulging muscles come to mind, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look pretty at the same time!

In fact, several sports have some pretty extreme grooming routines.

From horse cartilage to Jello, the world’s most hardcore athletes suffer through it all to go for the gold!

Synchronized Swimming:

During practice, the swimmers get to wear caps and goggles, but when the actual competition rolls around, they must forgo those for the sake of beauty.

The chlorine does a number on their hair.  Often, strands of hair fall out completely from the damage and because of that, many of them have to draw on their eyebrows with makeup.

To keep their hair in place during their routines, they actually comb unflavored jello into their hair and twist it into a tight bun. When the jello mixes with the water, it becomes a paste and can only be removed with a hot shower.

They also sport a full face of make up during competitions, which includes waterproof mascara and a lot of eye shadow. How does all that stay on in the pool? They use Chapstick as an eye primer!


Swimmers don’t have to compete with eye shadow and blush like their synchronized counterparts, but if they want optimal conditions, they have to shave nearly their entire body. Yes, that includes the boys!

Apparently, the muscles work faster and harder on clean shaven skin.

Luckily the athletes can wear swimming caps, so they can maintain a full head of hair. Many apply conditioner before a race to help protect their locks. Some go the extra mile, wearing 2 caps at the same time, a thin one for protection and a thick one to reduce friction in the pool.

Track & Field:

Even runners like Lolo Jones and Allyson Felix have to check the mirror before stepping onto the track. For them, a tight ponytail is key. Jenny Simpson, who runs the 1500-meter, likes to get a little fancy with a French braid ponytail.

As for makeup, they keep it simple with some SPF tinted moisturizer and waterproof mascara.

For even more Olympian beauty secrets (including the routine of a hammer thrower!), listen to the audio clip below:

-Sarah Carroll, 97.1 AMP Radio, Los Angeles


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