What music got your favourite London 2012 athlete pumped?

If you watched the London 2012 Summer Games, you no doubt witnessed many athletes wearing headphones before getting going. How badly did you want to know what they were listening to? We get you the inside scoop on what gets your favourite Olympic athletes pumped.

Michael Phelps


Probably the athlete most frequently seen with a set of headphones is the one and only Michael Phelps. Whether he’s taking on his signature 200-metre fly or one of his many relays, he’s jamming to music up until the very last second. So what does the Summer Games’ most-decorated athlete listen to before adding another medal to his collection? Phelps told Ryan Seacrest it’s upbeat music like Afrojack, Avicii and Skrillex that get him really fired up. He even made up a playlist for Matador Sports of five of his favourite songs. The list included Usher‘s “Burn,” Outkast’s “Roses” as well as songs by Eminem, G-Unit and Twista. According to the Montreal Gazette, he and his teammate Ryan Lochte are big Lil Wayne fans.

And for Canada’s favourite swimmer, silver medallist Ryan Cochrane? He seems to be on the same page as Phelps and Lochte, telling Global TV it’s Cazzette’s “Beam Me Up” and “Make It Bun Dem” by Skrillex and Damian Marley that get him pumped for his 1,500-metre freestyle.


Bronze medallist and long-time paddler Mark Oldershaw told CTV he listened to Carly Rae Jepsen before his medal-winning 1,000-metre canoe race. And considering the video made by the U.S. Olympic swim team, it’s pretty clear Jepsen is in the heads of many London 2012 athletes.


Gymnasts of all kinds have to get themselves into a mindset unlike any other athletes. Gold medallist for Canada Rosie MacLennan reveals it’s Citizen Cope’s “Let the Drummer Kick” and Kanye West’s “Stronger” that get her pumped before she flies high on the trampoline.


No one needs music quite as badly as marathon runners. When you’re working for hours at a time, a lot of quality music is necessary. Canada’s Reid Coolsaet competes in the marathon and has some unique tunes to keep him going. The Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter” is one of his favourites, along with songs by Justice, Junior Boys, Teenage Head, The Sheepdogs and Father John Misty.


We all want to know what the one and only Alexandre Despatie listens to, whether he’s preparing for a dive off the high tower or recovering from a scary injury such as his recent head trauma. No doubt his cool demeanour in the face of incredible pressure comes from the fact that he enjoys listening to Coldplay, Foo Fighters and Sam Roberts Band. And his incredible energy and drive? Perhaps it’s thanks in part to his love of electronic music. Something for every mood!

Photo courtesy of PNP/WENN.com

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