Like most people recently, I’ve been watching the Winter Olympics on T.V. While watching Apolo Ohno warm up for one of his Short Track races the other night, I noticed him yawning. At first I was shocked. I couldn’t believe that he was so tired just before a race that he couldn’t resist the urge to yawn. When I paid closer attention to what he was doing, it looked like he was actually TRYING to yawn. It looked like he was actually warming up to a big yawn by taking several small, fake yawns, just prior to launching into a big natural one. Then I remembered the post I wrote about how Yawning can Improve Memory, Brain Fitness and overall Brain Health. So I thought well, maybe it was a tactic he was using to improve his racing ability just before a race. It turns out I was right! I recently read an article on Yahoo News that said Apolo Ohno yawns prior to a race in order to bring more oxygen into his lungs and to get the nerves out of his system. But just maybe, without his realizing, it helped his mental abilities too. Short track racing requires a lot of quick thinking and mental strategy. So while his “official” reason had nothing to do with memory, brain fitness and overall brain health, perhaps the brain boosting benefits of yawning helped him win and become the Winter Olympian with the most medals in U.S. history. Who knows?
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