Green and Gold: 7 Vegan Athletes Competing at the Plant-Powered 2024 Olympics

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With Paris 2024 going predominantly plant-based, here are seven athletes competing at the Olympics, fuelled by a vegan diet.

At this year’s Olympic Games – touted to be the greenest ever – 60% of the 13 million meals served will be meatless, and a third will be vegan.

As athletes and spectators arrive in Paris from across the world, the theme of the Olympics menu is global too. Dishes like a veggie bourguignon, cauliflower and baked potato with turmeric; a bell pepper shakshouka, a meatless moussaka, crispy quinoa muesli, and zaatar sweet potato with hummus and chimichurri will aim to fuel Olympians, support staff, employees and onlookers alike.

Many champion athletes have long followed a plant-forward diet, with the sporting benefits of veganism blown into mainstream consciousness with the 2020 documentary The Game Changers. Lewis Hamilton. the Williams sisters, Dotsie Bausch, Mike Tyson, Carl Lewis, and so many more have propagated the athletics gains they made by switching to plant-based diets.

There are a number of vegan athletes competing at this year’s games, who will hope to encourage viewers from across the world to cut down meat consumption and embrace more plant-based foods for the sake of their health, as well as the planet’s, given fears that heatwaves could adversely affect Olympians in Paris this year.

Diana Taurasi

Country: US
Sport: Basketball

Widely regarded as the greatest WNBA player of all time, Diana Taurasi went vegan in 2016, and has credited her vegan diet for her success. The five-time Olympic gold medallist (a US basketball record) has spoken of the faster recovery times that are helping her do things now, at 42, that she couldn’t at 28.

“I let the food be the medicine, as the saying goes. There’s so many supplements now. I think every person has to make their own choice about how they go about it. For me, the thing that was affecting me was the actual food I ate,” she told GQ earlier this month.

Constantin Preis

Country: Germany
Sport: Hurdling

vegan athletes
Courtesy: Constantin Preis/Facebook

A specialist in 400m hurdles, German athlete Constantin Preis went vegan in 2018, a year after cutting out meat from his diet. He made the change specifically for fitness reasons, following muscle tears, strains and back issues. Preis has spoken about the importance of whole foods like beans, which have similar iron, protein and micronutrient levels to chicken.

“There are so many benefits, but the bottom line is that it all starts with better blood circulation. By giving up dairy products, the plaque and everything that had built up has disappeared. Now that my blood circulation is better, the muscles can be optimally supplied and the muscular problems have minimised,” Preis told SportSirene in 2022.

That said, he told Bon Appétit that he plans to eat meat again after Paris 2024, in order to simplify his meals. “I want to see how I feel if I switch it up,” he said.

Marina Fioravanti

Country: Brazil
Sport: Rugby

olympics climate change
Courtesy: Martín Seras Lima/World Rugby

Marina Fioravanti competed in her first Games at Tokyo 2020 (well, 2021) as part of Brazil’s rugby sevens team. This year, the 30-year-old will aim to earn her first Olympic medal, and will be fuelled by a plant-based diet.

She spoke to Bon Appétit about relying on “nutritive and tasty” staples like protein smoothies, rice and beans, lentil Bolognese, and oatmeal with chia seeds during training-packed days.

Morgan Mitchell

Country: Australia
Sport: Track and field

You might know her from The Game Changers, but Morgan Mitchell has been vegan for a decade now. A former 400m runner, she now specialises in the 800m sprint, and is heading to her third games as a plant-based Olympian. She has cited faster recovery, easier weight management and better overall health as the key outcomes of her dietary shift.

“A clear example of why I knew it would work for me was back in 2012. I made the state team for netball, but I also had glandular fever,” Mitchell told in April. “I could probably survive about three hours a day, outside and then I’d be sleeping for the rest. I’d get tonsillitis twice a year and turning to a vegan diet really helped with my overall health. I haven’t had tonsillitis since.”

Kaylin Whitney

Country: US
Sport: Track and field

paris olympics vegan
Courtesy: Getty Images/

Kaylin Whitney became a gold medallist in the 4x400m relay at the Tokyo Games in 2021, a year after she turned to a plant-based diet. She missed out on qualification as a 100m and 200m sprinter for the 2016 Olympics in Rio, but has said that going vegan during the pandemic reinvented her. She felt a lot healthier, a lot lighter, and a lot less sore.

“It was the best thing I ever did,” she told, stating that she was inspired by Mitchell. “I can’t even begin to explain all the benefits I saw… It felt like my body was working how it needed to.”

Vivian Kong Man Wai

Country: Hong Kong SAR
Sport: Épée fencer

vegan olympians
Courtesy: International Fencing Federation

Following a career-threatening injury in 2017, champion épée fencer Vivian Kong Man Wai turned to a vegan diet. After initial struggles with prejudice from home, the results speak for themselves: she has since competed in two Olympic Games, won the Asian Championships thrice, and climbed to the top of the world rankings.

“I can be an example to show it’s possible, and it’s more motivation for me to work harder, have better results, and tell my story about how eating plant-based foods made me better and made me feel better too,” she told the South China Morning Post in 2018.

Alex Morgan

Country: US
Sport: Football

plant based athletes
Courtesy: Alex Morgan/X

A veteran of the USWNT, Alex Morgan has been following a plant-based diet since 2017. A two-time Olympic medallist (including Gold at London 2012) and FIFA World Cup Winner, she went vegan for ethical reasons, but noticed a huge drop in her cholesterol and fatigue levels, as well as an accelerated recovery time.

“It benefited me all around,” she told The Beet in 2021. “I was fearful it would affect soccer in a detrimental way but it was the opposite. It made me feel better.”

This story was published before the official announcement of the USWNT squad for the 2024 Olympics. Alex Morgan wasn’t included in the squad.

Bonus: Novak Djokovic

Country: Serbia
Sport: Tennis

novak djokovic vegan
Courtesy: Maja Hitij/Getty Images

One of the greatest tennis players of all time – and another star of The Game Changers – Novak Djokovic is included as a bonus because he has distanced himself from the ‘vegan’ label, citing his dislike of people’s misinterpretation of the word. “I do eat plant-based, and it’s been for many years,” he told American journalist Graham Bensinger in 2020.

Nevertheless, with more Grand Slams in the bag than any of his peers, the 37-year-old is heading for his fifth (and likely final) Olympics at Paris to try and win the elusive gold – and is doing so on the back of years of plant-forward eating.

“My diet hasn’t just changed my game, it’s changed my life – my wellbeing,” he told Forbes in an interview about his Monte Carlo vegan restaurant Eqvita in 2016. “And if I feel better, that obviously transfers to my professional life. Eating vegan makes me more aware of my body on the court… more alert. I removed toxins from my body, and with them went all the inflammation and other things that were messing with my energy levels.”

Could Paris 2024 convince more Olympians to eat more plants? We’ll find out next month.

This story was updated on July 18 to note Alex Morgan’s exclusion from the USWNT squad.


  • Anay Mridul

    Anay is Green Queen's resident news reporter. Originally from India, he worked as a vegan food writer and editor in London, and is now travelling and reporting from across Asia. He's passionate about coffee, plant-based milk, cooking, eating, veganism, food tech, writing about all that, profiling people, and the Oxford comma.

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