Who knew Olympians had THIS much sex?!
Which should surprise NO ONE. When you put a group of diverse young people, some of the most physically fit people in the world, in a college dorm-like setting for two weeks, what do you think is going to happen?
If you thought people hooked-up a lot at your university after finals week, imagine what happens to Olympic athletes after their finish competing in the event they’ve been training for over the past FOUR YEARS. That kind of sex has got to be ten steps beyond what any of us consider “blowing off steam.”
But, despite all the cute stories about hot tub hook-ups and the organizers having to outright ban outdoor sex, I think there’s an important issue that is sometimes ignored when it comes to the sex lives of Olympians.
The Olympics provides birth control to their athletes.
That’s kind of amazing.
The Rio Games will be handing out over 450,000 condoms to the athletes competing this year – that works out to about 42 condoms per competitor. (That’s a pretty lofty goal for 2 weeks, but these people love a good challenge.)
And that includes over 100,000 female condoms.
To give you some context, only 8,500 condoms were handed out at the Seoul Games in 1988. 90,000 were given out in Barcelona in 1992, the Beijing Games gave out 100,000 condoms in 2008, and 150,000 condoms were distributed in London in 2012.
So the organizers of the Rio Olympics are planning on their athletes having more than double the amount of sex than they did in London. And the organizing committee is planning on handling out over 9 million free condoms in total at the 2016 games. (So all that extra sex will be safer sex.)
But they're not just any condoms — eco-friendly condoms created from rubber trees in the Amazon rainforest.
That means that people are expecting that the Brazilian climate (and fierce competition) will inspire a whole LOT of sex, which is both understandable and surprisingly responsible.
Yes, there are many concerns about sexually transmitted diseases (such as the Zika virus) and, yes, condoms are not the end-all-be-all when it comes to birth control methods.
However, let’s just stand back a moment and recognize that Brazil’s government and the International Olympic Committee — an organization that interacts with almost every country in the world, including countries will VERY different perspectives on sexual education — are being refreshingly progressive about the idea of athletes having sex.
It’s a really, really awesome thing that the Olympic Village is swimming in free condoms.
Because we shouldn’t stigmatize athletes for wanting to have sex.
Have they earned it? Hell yeah. They’re young, fierce competitors. They’re at the top of their game. As long as they get enough sleep the night before their event, who cares if they’re having some consensual fun times with their peers?
(Former Olympics skating star Johnny Weir hilariously told Yahoo Sports, “When I was at the Olympics, my crazy Russian lady coach made me believe that if I even if I had sex with myself, all my energy would go away and I might as well go home. … I don’t know when these athletes that are focused on the greatest moments of their lives are going to have time to throw down and use those condoms.”)
But the really remarkable thing is that the larger Olympics planning committees have not adopted the puritanical view of sex that some of their partner countries currently hold.
And let’s not turn this into a “which countries are weird about sex” bashing. Even if you just look at the United States, we’re not always open-minded when it comes to providing birth control to young people.
People arguing against distributing condoms in high schools, ineffective abstinence programs are held up as birth control alternatives, organizations like Planned Parenthood are defunded. Even in allegedly “first-world” countries, it can be hard to find safe, effective birth control when you need it.
But the Olympics — the event that brings together the whole world — have NO problem with birth control. (Condoms, at least.) They recognize that young people are going to have sex and, rather than stigmatizing it, they just plan ahead.
They make condoms available. They don’t try to stop the act from happening. They just try to help athletes make smart decisions.
And I think that’s great. I don’t think the Olympics get enough credit for that. Because, sure, thinking about 450,000 condoms is pretty funny, but thinking about what would happen if 450,000 condoms WEREN’T THERE is anything but funny.