KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — Here is the truth about the most epic burger run of the Sochi Games: Torin Yater-Wallace, the freestyle skier who grabbed 10 McDonald's Royal Cheeseburgers to go and tweeted it to the world, secretly wishes they were something else.
"Free In-N-Out would be better," Yater-Wallace told Yahoo Sports. "I'm not the biggest McDonald's fan. But it's free, so why not?"
The picture of Yater-Wallace, 18, holding a tray of burgers with the look of an amused burnout about to get his grub on went viral, and the biggest question was what came of the burgers. Not only were they not eaten, Yater-Wallace said, they remain inside a refrigerator at the Olympic Village awaiting consumption.
"They're for everybody else," Yater-Wallace said. "There's a microwave. The White Castle burgers — those are frozen and they microwave 'em. If you think about that, they're probably pretty good."
Destroying copious amounts of McDonald's is a burgeoning trend among young American Olympians. Who can forget the legendary performance of snowboarder Greg Bretz in the 2010 Vancouver Games? He polished off 60 Chicken McNuggets in one sitting and earned the gold medal for likeliest Olympian to die of a heart attack.
Yater-Wallace and his U.S. halfpipe skiing teammates Aaron Blunck and Lyman Currier — they call themselves the Teenage Triple Threat — seem the favorites to inherit the title. For the first two days (three meals a day) at the Sochi Games, they ate nothing but McDonald's like they wanted to make "Super Size Me 2." On the advice of cardiologists everywhere, they backed off the Mac D's, as they call it in their Twitter chronicles, for a couple days.
"And then last night, we were starting to have withdrawal symptoms from McDonald's," Blunck said. "So we went back there to watch some hockey games and went twice. We ate quite a bit."
Yater-Wallace gravitated toward McDonald's, he said, "because it's closest to the dining-hall door" and walking across the room seemed too big a chore. Though the Royal Cheeseburger pales next to the near perfection of an In-N-Out Double-Double, Yater-Wallace has grown fond of McDonald's smoothies, among other treats.
"People probably think I'm fat now," Yater-Wallace said. "Whatever. I'm not in a sport with my shirt off, so it's all good."
As for the leftovers, Yater-Wallace is earmarking them for Joss Christensen, Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper, the three skiers who swept the medal stand in the inaugural slopestyle competition. Nothing beats a cold-microwaved McDonald's hamburger to celebrate.
Yater-Wallace and Blunck had gone to the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park to congratulate their teammates early in the afternoon. The food from the previous night was beginning to wear off, though, and hunger pangs struck.
"Probably going to go eat lunch," Blunck said. "And have some McDonald's."
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