We Followed 6 Athletes as They Train for the Paris Olympics

matt anderson jagger eaton bobby finke ivan puskovitch rai benjamin steve serio
The Paris Olympics Training Diaries jason speakman, mh illustration

EVERY FOUR YEARS, young athletes around the world watch an Olympic medal ceremony, wondering what it must feel like to have the weight of a gold dangle around their neck as a flag slowly raises to the ceiling. The brevity of that incredible moment feels almost comical when you compared it to the years of work it took to get there, which often gets overlooked.

Ahead of this summer's Olympic Games in Paris, which take off on July 26, Men's Health followed six world-class athletes as they prepare and compete for their shot at gold. They let us into their lives for a deeper look into their training methods, nutrition plans, recovery routines, and mental prep in the three months leading up to the Opening Ceremony.

The rookie, Ivan Puskovich, will be competing in his first ever games in the 10K open water swim—a feat that's required him to uproot his life in order to dedicate all his time to training. The prodigy, Jagger Eaton, was the youngest person ever to compete on the professional skateboarding circuit with his debut at the X Games when he was 11. At 23, he's ready to make a comeback in his second Olympics after winning bronze in Tokyo in 2021.

The runner-up, Rai Benjamin, missed gold by a fraction of a second in the 400-meter hurdles last Olympics. He's doing everything he can to make up that time, and finish out in front. The rising star, Bobby Finke, won two golds in the 800-meter and 1500-meter freestyle in his first go at the games at the ripe age of 21. He's plotting for even more success this year.

The decorated vet, Matt Anderson, is back for his fourth (and potential final) games in men's volleyball. After taking home a bronze in Rio de Janiero in 2016, and a disappointing finish in Tokyo in 2021, he's ready for gold. The legend, Steve Serio, is prepping for his last Olympics. He's looking to make history by leading the Team USA wheelchair basketball team what would potentially be their third consecutive gold medal—a triumph never before done.

Read their stories below, and stay tuned for the second installment of our "Road to the Olympics" package, where we follow up with all the athletes about how their training is progressing, coming in late June.

jagger eaton
Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images



The 23-year-old harnesses his fear to make himself better. Here's how.

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ivan puskovitch
Jacob Jørgensen, THEMAGIC5 Inc.



The first-time Olympian is doing everything he can to top the podium—including moving across the country.

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rai benjamin



The silver medalist knows he can lose. That's what drives him to win.

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matt anderson
Courtesy Volleyball World



It's his fourth (and potentially final) go at the games—and he's making it his best yet.

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bobby finke
Jacob Kupferman / Getty Images



As the games get closer, the two-time gold medalist is focusing on the little things.

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steve serio
dpa picture alliance / Alamy Stock Photo



Five Olympics in, the seasoned vet has fine tailored his training routine.

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Lead art credits: Courtesy Volleyball World (Anderson); Aflo Co. Ltd. / Alamy Stock Photo (Eaton); Courtesy Subject (Finke); Jacob Jørgensen, TheMagic5 Inc (Puskovitch); Andrej Isakovic / Getty Images (Benjamin); DPA Picture Alliance / Alamy Stock Photo (Serio)

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