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The night before the Olympic final, Michael Jordan spent the night drinking and gambling, did press appearances, played 18 holes of golf, before he went on to lead Team USA in a gold-medal victory. Do some athletes perform better with no rest?

The night before the Olympic final, Michael Jordan spent the night drinking and gambling, did press appearances, played 18 holes of golf, before he went on to lead Team USA in a gold-medal victory. Do some athletes perform better with no rest?
  • Yes, people in general vary in how they respond to stress.

    Yes, it is likely that some athletes perform better with no rest, just as some workers perform better under tight deadlines and some college students write brilliant papers during coffee-fueled all-nighters. Different humans respond differently to adrenaline and other hormones affected by both stress and sleep patterns. The fact that this is true for athletes should not be a surprise.

  • No, there are no athletes that perform better without rest.

    Rest is an important part of renewing energy and mental facilities. Without rest, our bodies start to shut down, and we are physically incapable of performing at peak level. Considering this, it is likely that Michael Jordan would have done even better in the olympics if he had rested the day before.

  • It doesn't happen often.

    I don't think that getting drunk and getting no sleep is a recipe for success. Sure, this helped Jordan in one situation, but he is definitely not the norm. On the whole, I believe that athletes perform best when they are well-rested, hydrated and completely focused on the task ahead of them.

  • No, not likely.

    What is more likely is that the Olympic games were not as difficult for him as some of the other athletes. He was at the top of his game and was able to preform well despite all of the things that he did the night before the Olympic Games, not because of them.


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