The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.
Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.
Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.
Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.
Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.
To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.
McDonald’s has a reputation for being, well, not the healthiest place to eat—certainly not where you’d think top athletes would dine.
But it turns out McDonald’s is phenomenally popular with Olympic athletes and coaches in Rio. This may be in part because McDonald’s is free in the Olympic Village for athletes and coaches, but still, it’s shocking how crazy Olympians have been for Big Macs and Chicken McNuggets over the past couple of weeks.
The Washington Post was among the first media outlets to take notice of how insanely long the lines have been at the Olympic Village McDonald’s: “Morning and night, in blazing sun or stiff wind, come stray bullet or whiff of sewage, the Olympians will be waiting for their fries.”
Due to the lines, as well as the all-important free factor, the size of athletes’ orders have been even crazier than the waits for food. The Post reported that things had gotten so out of hand with huge orders that McDonald’s instituted a 20-item maximum per order. It’s not a hard maximum, however; athletes can still order more than 20 items at a time, but then the order will dip in priority and take longer than normal.
Australian badminton team member Sawan Serasinghe posted a photo of his gluttonous order—one with 22 items—on Instagram:
Some athletes from China have been among the regulars hitting up the Golden Arches. “The Chinese basketball team, they come all day, every day,” one McDonald’s employee told the Washington Post. “The Chinese eat Big Macs at 9 a.m. It’s crazy.”
The images posted of huge lines at McDonald’s and famous athletes going overboard with fries, milk shakes, and fast food burgers has proved to be a marketing coup for McDonald’s, especially given the implicit message sent to the masses: Hey, if Olympic swimmers, rowers, and track stars eat McDonald’s, it can’t be that bad for you, right?
It’s not just McDonald’s that available for free to the athletes. The entire Olympic Village is basically one giant schwag bag for the athletes, as the (Australia) Courier Mail noted:
The world’s best athletes on the planet apparently have supersized appetites in more ways than one.