Mark McMorris is one of roughly 50 Red Bull–sponsored athletes who will compete at the 2014 Winter Games. At the last Winter Olympics, in Vancouver, if Red Bull were a country, it would have tied for fifth in the overall medal count (with 16), ahead of China, France, and Russia. Red Bull sponsors 650 athletes around the world (120 from the United States alone) and sends them to “performance camps,” where they participate in cutting-edge training, are given finely tuned nutrition regimens, and take regular blood tests to help further customize their program. “We don’t focus on the Olympics per se,” says Andy Walshe, Red Bull’s director of high performance. “A lot of our sports have just been absorbed into the Olympic portfolio.” While Olympic programs around the world are taking notice, the IOC is less impressed: Red Bull – which is not an official sponsor – came under scrutiny for tweeting about itself at the Vancouver Games (only official sponsors can do that). It immediately removed the posts.
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