If you thought the Olympics were all about winning medals, think again. At the Beijing Olympics, there being no shortage of young, fit partners available, it is natural to conclude that many athletes won't mind seeing some buttons fly the night before competition or after. A sneak peak into Tony Perrottet's book 'The Naked Olympics' throws interesting sidelights into how sex has been part of the Games since its inception. We learn that sex and sport have been interlinked since Plato's day. The ancient Greeks competed stark naked beneath a statue of Eros, and the workout rooms were prime pick-up spots. Small wonder then that Nelson Diebel, an American swimmer who won two golds in Barcelona, famously said that the athlete village is "a two-week-long private party for thousands of hard-bodies". Can sex really be far away in a highly testosterone-addled atmosphere where shapely people in their prime are free to intermix with anybody they take a fancy to?
The rub, though, is whether sex debilitates or energises sportspersons. "Sex makes you happy (and happiness is anathema to the hunger for medals)," averred world-class miler Marty Liquori. While the Indian theory of abstinence finds support with the Greeks, who believed that sexual release hindered athletic performance, Roman historian Pliny the Elder wrote in his 'Natural History' that athletes, when sluggish, are revitalised by love-making. A study by Italian researchers and another by pharma major Pfizer found that more sex equals more aggression and higher testosterone levels. Canadian downhill skier Karin Lee Gardner and 1972 Olympic 800-metre champion Dave Wottle would agree: each claimed that pre-race sex not only felt good, it helped their causes. How are the conservative Chinese, yet the most populous on earth, going to rein in the orgy in the village? At the 2004 Athens Olympics, 1,30,000 free condoms were made available to athletes and officials. In the Sydney 2000 Games, each competing athlete was given 51 condoms on arrival at the Olympic Village, but another 20,000 had to be shipped in when supplies began to run low. But condom gift-bags are a no-no in Beijing. However, some cheeky adverts depicting stick-man athletes using condoms as apparatus in Olympic events have become a sensation in China. The sad part is that these rollicking times never come to be known — Olympic villages, it seems, are like Vegas. What happens there, stays there!
6 months ago