12 Photos Showing the Pain That Olympians Have to Withstand in Order to Succeed

Every athlete’s dream is to one day compete in the Olympics amongst the best. In order to achieve that, they have to put their bodies on the line and surpassed their limits. This means that minor injuries, exhaustion, and recovery are just a fact of life for them — like food and water are for the rest of us. And for many of them, these sacrifices are just what they need to get a medal in their bags.

Bright Side would like to express its admiration to all Olympians and athletes through 12 pictures that show how hard they work.

1. Bartosz Huzarski shows how his legs changed when he went from professional cyclist to amateur.

2. An x-ray, showing what a gymnast’s body is like when performing an exercise

3. The marks on Hidilyn Diaz’s hands, a weightlifter from the Philippines

4. Ice bath with a 30 lb block of ice for Ryan Lochte

5. Cupping is a therapy that most athletes do.

6. And the aftermath of cupping

7. Incredible elasticity for gymnast Eythora Thorsdottir

8. Swimmer Anthony Ervin shaving his entire body except for his head.

9. Oversized quads for Olympic cyclist, Robert Foerstemann

10. In 2011, Diana Nyad, an endurance swimmer, was stung by a swarm of box jellyfish while swimming in the ocean.

Diana’s hand after swimming non-stop for 28 hours.

11. Perfect legs and posture for Nadia Comaneci, the first 10 in gymnastics

12. Alex Gregory’s, an Olympic rower and gold medalist, hands after spending hours in wet gloves

Which photo shocked you the most and made you realize how hard athletes work in order to reach their full potential?

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