The Olympic Spirit

While it’s probably not polite to like any individual US Olympian more than another, we have to confess we have a favorite: Desiree Davila.

This Sunday, August 5, she’ll be competing against the world’s best long-distance runners in the marathon, whose course circles London. Though we’re impressed by her athletic skills—she owns the Boston Marathon’s record for an American woman with a blistering time of 2:22:38—she’s also a fellow whiskey fan and collector.

The two passions may not seem compatible at first, but she quickly assured us that drinking spirits in moderation doesn’t affect her training. “It’s not something I’ll cut out or go overboard on,” she says. And her budding interest gives her a break from preparing for her next race. “Running is my job,” she reminded us.

And tasting whiskey “is tied in with hanging out with friends,” she says. Davila trains in southeastern Michigan with the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project, and her teammates have even gotten into it. It’s “fun to sit around with everybody and talk about something other than what we are always talking about,” she says.

Davila and her fiancé have a number of bourbons, including Elijah Craig, Eagle Rare, Woodford Reserve, Blanton’s and Knob Creek, plus several ryes and Scotches, in their home bar. They also have a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle 15-year-old and the highly sought-after 23-year-old, but she admits “we pull those out when we try to impress people.”

And once the Olympic marathon is over, she plans to head to Scotland and possibly visit a distillery. Will she purchase a few whiskies for her collection? “That’s on our list of something to bring back.”

So this weekend, get up early and cheer Desiree Davila on. We’ll be drinking a glass of whiskey in her honor!

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