The London Olympic Games and Ramadan—the holiest month on the Islamic calendar—happen to overlap this summer, which could possibly affect more than 3,000 Muslim athletes that are participating in the Games. During Ramadan, devout Muslims consume food and fluids only during the hours before sunrise and after sunset, which could mean going nearly 17 hours without nourishment during competition. Several Olympic athletes, including Australian taekwondo competitors Safwan Khalil and Carmen Marton, and British rower Moe Sbihi, said they will be delaying their fast until the Games are over. Others plan to compete while fasting, which poses unique challenges for the sports dietitians involved. The Olympics run from July 27-Aug. 12, while the holy month of Ramadan is taking place between July 20 and Aug. 18.
Originally published in September/October 2012