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Jakarta Post

In land of ‘gorengan’, Indonesian athletes weighed down by poor diets

  • Ramadani Saputra

    The Jakarta Post

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Jakarta   /   Fri, December 27, 2019   /  10:37 am
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Indonesian swimmer I Gede Siman Sudartawa competes in Asian Games preliminary round in men’s backstroke 100m in Jakarta on Sunday.(INASGOC/Andika Wahyu)

One of the hardest parts of being an elite athletes is diligently adhering to a strict and healthy diet. Living in a food-obsessed society like Indonesia, where junk food like instant noodles and assorted gorengan (fried snacks) – from bananas to tofu – are ever present can be a challenge for athletes. Unfortunately, for many Indonesians, instant noodles and gorengan are both comfort and staple foods. Former national swimmer Albert C. Sutanto struggled to resist temptation during his heyday. Albert, who won nine gold medals at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games from the early 1990s to the 2000s, recounted that he frequently ate fried noodles, a favorite snack, during his career. “At that time, there was not a program [for managing the athletes’ nutrition intake],” he said recently. “Compared with athletes from other coun...