From NBC News
By Alastair Jamieson
LONDON — Competing in the Olympic Games is one of the toughest tests of the human body. So imagine the challenge faced by Muslim athletes who are currently fasting for up to 17 hours a day during the holy month of Ramadan.
Adherents to Islam are expected to go without all food and drink from sunrise until sunset – no easy task at a latitude where summer daylight hours are between 4 a.m. and 9 p.m.
London 2012 is the first Summer Games to coincide with Ramadan since 1980, posing a dilemma for modern athletes in an era where the science of high performance is often based on complex calorific regimes in the hours leading up to competition.
Many have sought to reach a compromise by consulting Islamic scholars who have allowed them to make penance after the Games are over. In some countries, such as Egypt, leaders in the faith have issued fatwas stating athletes would not have to fast, citing exceptions already made for those who are traveling, sick or pregnant.