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The Podium: What it Takes to Achieve Olympic Gold

Ever wonder what it takes to make it to the Olympics? The NBC Sports Olympic Podcast 'The Podium' returns and looks inside the mental and physical game every Olympic hopeful faces.

Hosted by American sportscaster Lauren Shehadi, The Podium provides an intimate look at every level of the Games. From episodes based on women in the Olympics, the Games as a family business, and moments unseen before and after each event — Shehadi takes us on one wild ride. You'll hear interviews from former Olympians like speedskater Maame Biney and new hopefuls such as 3x3 basketball player Kareem Maddox.

Here are some of the best episodes to get you into the Olympic spirit:

1) New Kids On the Podium Blocks: Fresh Faces In Tokyo

Tokyo welcomes six new sports to this summer's lineup: skateboarding, surfing, sport climbing, and 3x3 basketball. Hear the histories behind these action sports and how their development outside of the Games perfectly matches Olympic values.

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2) Routinely Great: Inside The Mental Game

In this episode, Lauren speaks to diver David Boudia on his pre-competition routine. She also talks to Dr. Mike Gervais (from the Finding Mastery Podcast) on the mental training it takes to separate a good athlete from greatness. Psychology plays a crucial role in defining athletes in and out of the sport.

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3) Champions Without the Asterisk: Women in the Olympics

Did you know that women accounted for only 2% of the Olympic Athletes during the Games over a century ago? Today, they account for 49% and are some of the most decorated in the last two Olympics. Listen in as Lauren talks to several trailblazers about their experience at the Games and what today's Games mean for spouses of female athletes, activists, and mothers.

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4) Family Business: Gold in Our Veins

Is being a part of a family of Olympians a dream or a nightmare? In this episode of the Podium, Lauren talks to canoe slalom contender Jess Fox who has nine accomplished "paddling" family members. We also hear from fencing athlete Ahmed Fareed, who tells the story of the Montano Fencing Dynasty.

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5) Olympic Waiting Rooms: The Moments Unseen

Career-defining moments only last just a few seconds in the Olympics, from warmups, logistics such as locating a porta potty to even mind games between competitors. Olympic athletes have to be on their A-game at all times. In this episode, dive into the moments unseen. Hear from climber Brooke Raboutou as she talks about the isolation rooms for each climbing event and more.

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To listen to all the episodes and more, download the Podium on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

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