Skip to main content

What Athletes Drink When They Are Crowned Champions

You know the routine: A pro sports team wins the title and suddenly the locker room is full of Champagne spray and players in goggles. Ever wonder what they’re drinking?

Across the wide spectrum of sports, from cycling to soccer, there’s usually some kind of booze to be enjoyed when an epic victory or championship is secured. With big sponsors lurking, it’s easier at some times than others to decipher what athletes are triumphantly throwing back. Sometimes it’s on camera, many times it’s not. Regardless, the best and winningest pros seems to agree that some celebratory imbibing of some kind is usually in order.

Related Videos


PhotoAlto/Sandro Di Carlo Darsa/Getty Images

As The Last Dance just showed, even the greatest basketball player of all time likes a cold beer after a game. Jordan was known to have a Miller Lite or two postgame with a few teammates, at least later in his career. It was a way to wind down and get ready for the media frenzy to follow. With Jordan, chances were good a cigar might be in his hand as well.

After winning titles, teams tend to douse each other with bubbly wine in the locker room. More of it than not seems to get on the floor, camera lenses, and jerseys but the coolers are constantly being refilled and it’s safe to say the scene is a party. Again, it’s Champagne. According to Sports Illustrated, the Golden State Warriors reportedly spilled about $200K work of Moët Impérial Golden Luminous Champagne after winning the 2017 title. They enjoyed it in magnum form because bigger is better. 


Most agree the biggest event in cycling is the Tour de France. Given its location, it’s fair to assume wine is in the finish-line picture. One of the more iconic images viewers take away from the event is during the final stage, when the winner in the yellow jersey is pedaling the last few kilometers to the Champs-Élysées in Paris. This is when he’s typically handed a flute of bubbles to enjoy as he finishes off a race of more than 2,000 miles.

What’s in the glass? Almost always it’s Champagne. Some winners, like Chris Froome, have opted for beer but almost every winner agrees to a finish-line toast with some homegrown bubbles. 


Nic Antaya
Nic Antaya/Getty Images

Lord Stanley’s Cup, presented to the best NHL team after every season, has long been a container for booze. And because it gets bigger every year with the addition of a new engraving denoting the latest championship squad, it’s fair to say the best hockey players are drinking more, at least in terms of volume the night of the big game. Beer seems to be the go-to as of late, preferably in a manner not unlike a keg stand


The biggest wins in soccer almost always involve hardware. These trophies, in turn, also function as fantastic drinking vessels. Champions League victors like Real Madrid and Premiere League champions like Manchester City are known to fill the cups with sparkling wine, passing it around from player to player (although the pandemic will certainly alter this practice).

A. Beier/Getty Images

Most of the drinking happens days later, when teams parade around their hometowns on giant busses, a practice many other sports have copied. Feeling saucy after a victorious season — not to mention a designated driver — the players tend to get, well, pretty wrecked. A couple of years back, several Man City players took to a neighborhood pub and then wine bar after securing the title, much to the joy of the club’s fans. Whether they opted for Valpolicella or Muscadet is unknown. 



Tennis, too, involves large trophies that can double as cups. Interestingly, at the latest Australian Open, one of the biggest tournaments in the world, the major drinks sponsor was a baijiu producer out of China. It seems bizarre for a country known for its wine scene but the spirit is the most consumed alcohol on the planet and will likely stay that way with campaigns like this. Reigning champion Novak Djokovic says he didn’t imbibe after his win but surely fans were enjoying some of the drink.


steve austin
George Napolitano/Getty Images

If Stone Cold Steve Austin is any indication, wrestlers seem to like a few cold ones after a bout. Moreover, they like it straight out of the can, sometimes shot-gunned. After a few blows to the head with a chair, I’m not sure wrestlers are that discerning. Best guess is they go with a good cheap beer

Editors' Recommendations

Your guide to reducing inflammation: 7 essential tips
Learn about the causes of, and solutions to, inflammation
man talking to doctor diagnosis

Chemical reactions constantly take place in the human body. This is referred to as the biochemical reaction process that is needed to sustain life. It's also known as metabolism, but this is more to do with chemical reactions in the cells that help convert food into energy that the body can utilize to carry out various bodily functions.

Inflammation is an essential biochemical process that has positive and negative effects on the human body. It can be part of the healing process following infection or injury, or it can cause conditions such as arthritis and other autoimmune conditions. But what is inflammation, what causes inflammation, and how can it be reduced in the body?  
What is inflammation?

Read more
Want incredible sushi in NYC? Go to this speakeasy (really!)
The Office of Mr. Moto in the East Village is more than meets the eye.
Office of Mr. Moto sushi entrance.

The entrance to The Office of Mr. Moto. Victorian-era mailbox with a PIN pad inside.

There's no shortage of sushi restaurants in NYC, but at the Big Apple's newest sushi omakase, entering the establishment requires a bit of intrigue. The Office of Mr. Moto isn't your standard sushi omakase — it's a speakeasy. The door to the restaurant is unmarked, and one could easily walk past without realizing it. To even enter the restaurant requires not only a reservation but also some detective work. First, prospective diners must solve a cipher in a letter (sent by email) before entering that code on a PIN pad at the Victoria-era mailbox at the entrance.

Read more
The best tequilas you can buy for less than $20
These wallet-friendly tequilas taste much more expensive than they are
best tequilas under 20 espolon tequila

Tequila can start a party. It also can end one very quickly. Your focus should stay on those that can star at any gathering. A solid tequila doesn't have to break the bank, either. Also, keep this in mind when looking for quality tequila, affordable or not: Make sure it's 100% agave. Those headache-inducing tequilas of your past were more than likely only part agave -- they just need to be 51%. The additional sugar in those was likely your culprit.

All tequila hails from the Mexican state of Jalisco. All start as Blue Weber Agave and take a wonderful ride to reach their final destination on a drinker's palate. This Mexican spirit has a beautiful, rich history. The excellence of this well-made spirit can be witnessed even in inexpensive versions -- neat or mixed into a tasty margarita.

Read more